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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).
French.
1.
an incorrigible child, as one whose behavior is embarrassing.
2.
an outrageously outspoken or bold person who says and does indiscreet or irresponsible things.
3.
a person whose work, thought, or lifestyle is so unconventional or avant-garde as to appear revolutionary or shocking.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for enfants terribles

enfant terrible

/ɑ̃fɑ̃ tɛriblə/
noun (pl) enfants terribles (ɑ̃fɑ̃ tɛriblə)
1.
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
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Word Origin and History for enfants terribles
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
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enfants terribles 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.
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