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[hel-yuh n] /ˈhɛl yən/
noun, Informal.
a disorderly, troublesome, rowdy, or mischievous person.
Origin of hellion
1835-45, Americanism; hell + -ion, as in scullion, rapscallion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hellion
Historical Examples
  • One spur for a log and one for any hellion who should get in the way of an honest drive!

  • A woman boss is bad enough, but a hellion is wu's,' was Jeff's statement.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • "I'm a hustler on a dicker, and a hellion on junk," snapped the boss.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • I've been sivinteen years living down a reputation as a hellion.

    The Sheriff's Son

    William MacLeod Raine
  • But I feel young, and I want to dance like a—like a hellion?

    Main Street Sinclair Lewis
  • She was some hellion, there on the top of the world, clawing and scratching tooth and nail—a regular she cat.

    The Red One Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for hellion


(US, informal) a rough or rowdy person, esp a child; troublemaker Also called heller
Word Origin
C19: probably from dialect hallion rogue, of unknown origin
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 hellion

1846, American English, altered (by association with Hell) from Scottish/northern England dialectal hallion "worthless fellow, scamp" (1786), of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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