verb (used without object)
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Origin of tantrum
Words nearby tantrum
What does tantrum mean?
Tantrums are often loud and they can be violent. A child kicking and screaming in response to being told to turn off the TV is having a tantrum.
The term is often used to refer to an outburst by a young child, especially a toddler. But it can also be used to refer to an outburst by an adult. When used this way, it’s intended to criticize the person for being unreasonable and acting like a child.
Tantrum is often used with the verb throw, as in My son threw a tantrum right in the middle of the store.
Less commonly, tantrum can be used as a verb meaning to throw a tantrum, as in She tantrums when she doesn’t get a treat.
Example: I work in customer service, so I’m used to dealing with tantrums from people who don’t get their way.
Where does tantrum come from?
The first records of the word tantrum come from the 1700s, but its ultimate origin is uncertain.
If you’ve ever seen a toddler erupt in screams of rage and start stomping and rolling around over not getting something they wanted, you’ve witnessed a tantrum. Young children are still learning how to manage their emotions, so it’s common for them to have occasional temper tantrums, even over things that don’t seem like a big deal. When an adult throws a tantrum, it may not involve literal yelling and screaming—an angry social media post in ALL CAPS over some minor problem might be called a tantrum. Saying that an adult is throwing a tantrum is always intended to be a criticism of that person.
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How is tantrum used in real life?
Children sometimes throw tantrums when they don’t get what they want. When the term is applied to an outburst by an adult, it’s used in a critical way that’s intended to imply that that person is acting like a child.
Today on “Things my toddler is throwing a tantrum over”
Not being able to be the “driver” because she’s not old enough or big enough…
— Leatherface, but in drag (@SethAaronforeal) March 17, 2019
Other dad: Which kid is yours?
Me: *looks at 2-year-old throwing temper tantrum for no reason* I don't remember.
— James Breakwell, Exploding Unicorn (@XplodingUnicorn) February 21, 2017
I sense the people claiming masks are an attack on their freedom are the very same people who claim millennials/liberals are the ‘snowflakes’
You're having a public tantrum over having to wear one (1) bit of cloth for the duration of your visit to a shop. State of you
— Samantha Shannon (@say_shannon) September 19, 2020
Try using tantrum!
Is tantrum used correctly in the following sentence?
I just saw a customer throw a tantrum at the server because the restaurant was out of ketchup.
Example sentences from the Web for tantrum
The varying tantrums of Bell and Brown appeared to deal the Steelers consecutive episodes of uncommon turbulence.After their foundation appeared shaken, the Steelers emerged as one of the NFL’s best|Adam Kilgore|October 30, 2020|Washington Post
This year, however, the tantrum has continued, and the words have become increasingly dire.‘The State of War’—Kim Jong-un’s Bombastic, and Ominous, Bluster|Gordon G. Chang|March 30, 2013|DAILY BEAST
There's the "finale" we should be seeking after the broken crockery from the Tea Party tantrum is cleared away.
A tantrum that does not yield the desired result has catastrophic consequences.
A child operating behind the threat of a tantrum will begin by crying softly.
Thus any child considering the tantrum will keep his cards close to his chest.
What a tantrum she went in to be sure when she found you was gone.Madame Flirt|Charles E. Pearce
"Tantrum" was the horse that had run away with Grandma when she was thrown from the wagon, and generally smashed to pieces.Cape Cod Folks|Sarah P. McLean Greene
He's not had a tantrum or a whining fit since you made friends.The Secret Garden|Frances Hodgson Burnett
But Brother Archangias, still holding his cards, flew into a tantrum: 'Oh!Abbe Mouret's Transgression|Emile Zola
Either she was sincerely sorry for her tantrum or she was bent upon utterly destroying my peace.The Rustlers of Pecos County|Zane Grey