[hel-yuh n]

noun Informal.

a disorderly, troublesome, rowdy, or mischievous person.

Origin of hellion

1835–45, Americanism; hell + -ion, as in scullion, rapscallion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hellion

Historical Examples of hellion

  • 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.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for hellion



US informal a rough or rowdy person, esp a child; troublemakerAlso called: heller

Word Origin for hellion

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

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