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

The Trump temper tantrum may produce a government shutdown. Joshua Jamerson, WSJ, "House Passes Funding Bill With Wall, Setting Stage for Shutdown," 20 Dec. 2018 The no-call set Johnson off on a tantrum, and he was hit with a yellow card for dissent. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Orlando City fans threw trash at Atlanta United players after ref's crucial no-call," 13 May 2018 Too often his frustration at not being the central character in the World Cup’s great drama led to tantrums and dives. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "The Danger of Overreacting to Brazil's Disappointing World Cup Exit," 7 July 2018 Still, the relatively smooth ride for emerging markets since the global financial crisis has conditioned buyers to expect tantrums and not breakdowns. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Will Argentina’s Nightmare Spread?," 9 May 2018 Any parent who has dealt with a toddler tantrum knows that stress comes with the territory. Sarah Szczypinski, chicagotribune.com, "Abusive parenting styles can be inherited. Here are 5 ways to break the cycle.," 7 May 2018 The boy was having a temper tantrum and passed out, his grandmother said, according to FOX 19. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "400-pound grandpa tried to restrain boy during a tantrum — and killed him, Ohio authorities say | Miami Herald," 26 Apr. 2018 The stepfather described the child as having tantrums and feces smeared everywhere. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Judges likens case to 'Wizard of Oz' in sentencing Brookfield mother, stepfather who kept child in basement," 2 Mar. 2018 The media is awash in stories of parents enrolling their children in Fortnite therapy sessions and temper tantrums by youths asked to curtail their Fortnite consumption. Alex Salkever, Fortune, "Fortnite Is Poised to Rule the Summer. Are Parents Prepared?," 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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Dictionary Entries near tantrum


tant pis




tan vat


Statistics for tantrum

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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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).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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