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enfant terrible

A famous person who is known to behave inappropriately, often to others' shock or horror. As this phrase is French for "terrible child," it is typically pronounced with a French accent. If you continue to have tantrums on the court, you will be known as the enfant terrible of tennis. He is the enfant terrible of high society, so of course he wore blue jeans to the gala.
See also: enfant, terrible

an enfant terrible

a famous or successful person who likes to shock people by behaving badly (usually + of ) Jean Paul Gaultier, the enfant terrible of French fashion, arrived at the show wearing a mini kilt.
See also: enfant, terrible
References in classic literature ?
Il est necessaire d'etre vigilant, mon enfant," the other observed, dropping a fold of his cloak, and looking the soldier close in the face as he passed him, still continuing his way toward the British fortification.
After riding a few paces in silence, Napoleon turned to Berthier and said he wished to see how the news that he was talking to the Emperor himself, to that very Emperor who had written his immortally victorious name on the Pyramids, would affect this enfant du Don.
Look, Madame Crawley, you were always bon enfant, and I have an interest in you, parole d'honneur.
This was Princess Myakaya, noted for her simplicity and the roughness of her manners, and nicknamed enfant terrible.
Arouse all together, me, enfants, under pain of my displeasure.
Simon stresses that early detection leads to better treatment, so a device like the Enfant, that accurately tests pre-verbal children, is a major step forward in improving children's vision health.
Instead, what about a certain Joel Canton a (left), brother of everyone's favourite enfant terrible.
Oporto's lively, cultivated architectural community is at present reserving judgement on the world's favourite architectural enfant terrible, but can see the wider benefits of the municipal ambition that has brought OMA to Oporto.
Among the ancients the enfant terrible had in mind to vanquish was perhaps his professor and mentor, Danish icon Jorgen Leth, a poet, novelist, diplomat, and filmmaker whose poetic documentaries form the antonym of von Trier's aggressive aesthetic.
The 39-year-old prince - known as the enfant terrible of the Belgian royal family - has made headlines by being caught speeding several times.
The new movie also confirms that the legendary gay Spanish filmmaker, now 51, won't be giving up his enfant terrible status any time soon.
Mon enfant contre une bombe: non aux voleurs de vie
Putting a cork on the Cannes opening weekend party lineup, those onetime enfant terribles Jack Nicholson, Hollywood producer Robert Evans and exiled director Roman Polanski will be holding court at the Hotel du Cap during Graydon Carter's Vanity Fair party.
The original enfant terrible of Brit Art has been given a totally paint-free Grand Prix vehicle to cover with his own design, for an exhibition.