tan·​trum | \ ˈtan-trəm How to pronounce tantrum (audio) \

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

Never one to shy away from capitalizing on her social media following, Kim documented North's mini tantrum on Instagram and Twitter. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "North West Borrowed Kim Kardashian's High Heel Snakeskin Boots," 25 Apr. 2019 There are lessons on how to organize birthday parties and sleepovers, how to get children into good sleeping routines, and how to deal with temper tantrums. Annabelle Spranklen, Town & Country, "Here's What It Takes to Become a Nanny for the British Royal Family," 9 Mar. 2019 Members of Congress routinely throw tantrums now, as in the Peter Strzok hearing. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Serena Williams’s Time Out," 12 Sep. 2018 Some are cooperative yet guarded, while others lash out or throw tantrums. Christy Tennant Krispin, Vox, "What Mark Wahlberg’s new movie Instant Family gets right and wrong about foster care," 29 Nov. 2018 But of course, no amount of entertainment from the helicopters or his father could stop Prince George from crying while having a tantrum. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Prince George Has a Tantrum at a Royal Air Show, Kate Is Every Mom," 8 July 2016 Yes, the rates might be a tad higher, but avoiding premature tantrums is priceless. Shelby Deering, Good Housekeeping, "6 Rental Car Tips That'll Save You Time and Money on Your Next Family Trip," 1 Mar. 2019 But his tantrum against the Philadelphia Eagles places him in a highly vulnerable position, potentially turning the tide of the culture wars against him decisively. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Going to Lose His War on Football," 5 June 2018 Since joining Bank Indonesia in 1984, Perry Warjiyo has seen the fall of a dictator, the collapse of the financial sector -- more than once -- and the odd market tantrum. Karlis Salna, Bloomberg.com, "Forged in Crisis, Newest Asian Central Bank Chief Comes Prepared," 28 Mar. 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

21 May 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 How to pronounce tantrum (audio) \

Kids Definition of tantrum

: an outburst of bad temper


tan·​trum | \ ˈtan-trəm How to pronounce tantrum (audio) \

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).


a strong desire or propensity

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