Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

enfant terrible

[ahn-fahn te-ree-bluh] /ɑ̃ fɑ̃ tɛˈri blə/
plural enfants terribles
[ahn-fahn te-ree-bluh] /ɑ̃ fɑ̃ tɛˈri blə/ (Show IPA).
an incorrigible child, as one whose behavior is embarrassing.
an outrageously outspoken or bold person who says and does indiscreet or irresponsible things.
a person whose work, thought, or lifestyle is so unconventional or avant-garde as to appear revolutionary or shocking. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for enfant terrible

enfant terrible

/ɑ̃fɑ̃ tɛriblə/
noun (pl) enfants terribles (ɑ̃fɑ̃ tɛriblə)
a person given to unconventional conduct or indiscreet remarks
Word Origin
C19: literally: terrible child
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for enfant terrible
enfant terrible
1851, from Fr., lit. "terrible child." One whose unorthodox or shocking speech or manners embarrass his associates like a naughty child embarrasses his elders.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
enfant terrible in Culture
enfant terrible [(ahn-fahn te-ree-bluh)]

A person who stirs things up in an irresponsible or indiscreet way or has unconventional ideas: “Doctor Hill keeps writing articles that criticize his fellow physicians; he is becoming known as the enfant terrible of his profession.” From French, meaning “terrible child.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for enfant terrible

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for enfant

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with enfant terrible