Definition of enfant terrible in English:

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enfant terrible

Pronunciation: /ˌänfän teˈrēbl(ə)/

noun (plural enfants terribles pronounced same)

A person whose unconventional or controversial behavior or ideas shock, embarrass, or annoy others.
Example sentences
  • Though he was just beginning his teaching career, Barth was, at the time, already something of a controversial celebrity, an enfant terrible among European theologians.
  • The 39-year-old looks more like an accountant than the enfant terrible of contemporary Hollywood cinema.
  • The enfant terrible of the British art scene raised a cool £11m last week by selling off a load of old restaurant fittings.


Mid 19th century: French, literally 'terrible child'.

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