tan·​trum | \ˈtan-trəm \

Definition of tantrum 

: a fit of bad temper

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Synonyms for tantrum


blowup, explosion, fireworks, fit, hissy [chiefly Southern & southern Midland], hissy fit, huff, scene

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Examples of tantrum in a Sentence

had a tantrum when he found his little sister using his model paints

Recent Examples on the Web

Clearly, Twitter tantrums and egging are way out of bounds in the traditional rules of etiquette. Hilary Weaver, Vanities, "“She’s Stuck in a Really Tough Position”: Etiquette Experts on the Red Hen Controversy," 26 June 2018 Magro played the part of the cheating, immature, and truly cruel cast member — acting like a petulant child and throwing temper tantrums. refinery29.com, "The Situation Was The Big Winner Of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation," 29 June 2018 There have been incidents against Louisville, Florida State and who could forget, the temper tantrum when Duke played Elon. Charlotte Carroll, SI.com, "Watch: Grayson Allen Gets Flagrant 1 For Booty Bumping UNC Player," 9 Mar. 2018 Anyhow, Stoltenberg appeared to take Trump’s tantrum in stride. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump at NATO Summit: Germany Is ‘Captive to Russia’," 11 July 2018 American drug companies threw a tantrum — and the Clinton administration dutifully did the same. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "It’s Normal for the U.S. to Put Corporate Profits Above Babies’ Health," 10 July 2018 Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez threw a huge tantrum after striking out during Tampa Bay’s 3-0 loss to the Marlins on July 4. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Carlos Gomez says sorry to Gatorade cooler after destroying 2 in mid-game tantrum," 6 July 2018 An inflatable blimp of President Donald Trump wearing a diaper, clutching a cell phone and throwing a temper tantrum has been given approval to fly near Britain's Parliament in London during Trump's visit to the United Kingdom next week. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Diaper-clad 'Trump Baby' blimp to fly over London during president's visit," 5 July 2018 President Trump is scheduled to visit London next week, and a giant balloon depicting him as a baby throwing a tantrum will reportedly greet him near the UK Parliament. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "London Mayor Approves Giant Baby Balloon to Greet President Trump's UK Visit," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tantrum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tantrum

1714, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tantrum

origin unknown

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Learn More about tantrum

Dictionary Entries near tantrum


tant pis




tan vat


Statistics for tantrum

Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tantrum

The first known use of tantrum was in 1714

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More Definitions for tantrum



English Language Learners Definition of tantrum

: an uncontrolled expression of childish anger : an angry outburst by a child or by someone who is behaving like a child


tan·​trum | \ˈtan-trəm \

Kids Definition of tantrum

: an outburst of bad temper


tan·​trum | \ˈtan-trəm \

Medical Definition of tantrum 

: a fit of bad temper

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Comments on tantrum

What made you want to look up tantrum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


full of whispering sounds

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