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

Definition of tantrum

: a fit of bad temper

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for tantrum


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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of tantrum in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

On the night of the book release, their 3-year-old son, Harrison, threw a temper tantrum. Ragan Clark, Dallas News, "Author finds community with memoir on grieving his young daughter's death," 30 July 2019 Lexie Brown, in her own words, has come a long way since her teenage temper tantrums included chucking desks across the gym floor. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Sharpshooter Lexie Brown feels understood by the Lynx," 9 July 2019 His initial tantrums were organic, but Nike liked the attention and encouraged him to do it more. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "How much are sneakerheads willing to shell out for Nikes with Betsy Ross flag?," 2 July 2019 Lear is about an old man who has a serious temper tantrum because no one had ever said no to him. Maureen Dowd, Town & Country, "Glenda Jackson as King Lear Is the Mad King For Our Age," 21 Mar. 2019 Her daughter was throwing a tantrum after not winning a raffle and Tamica wasn't having any of it. Mike Scott, NOLA.com, "'Southern Charm New Orleans' Episode 6: Red beans and rice, minus the spice," 21 May 2018 Incensed, Rask, who is not really a stranger to on-ice tantrums, chucked the free blade at the side wall in disgust. Tim Hackett, SI.com, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Sharks Break Through Against Vegas; Bruins Topple Lightning," 29 Apr. 2018 Amal and George Clooney aren't the first air travel experts to distract their fellow passengers from any potential tantrums with material goods. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Amal and George Clooney Gave Out Noise-Canceling Headphones on a Plane to Block Their Twins' Crying," 13 Dec. 2017 Sometimes there's simply nothing that can stop a youngster from throwing a tantrum, not even a meeting with the Queen. Victoria Chandler, House Beautiful, "The Queen Deals With This Tiny Child's Tantrum in the Best Possible Way," 9 Mar. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of tantrum

1714, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tantrum

origin unknown

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tantrum

Dictionary Entries near tantrum


tant pis




tan vat


Statistics for tantrum

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tantrum

The first known use of tantrum was in 1714

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!