a sudden short period of angry, unreasonable behaviour, especially in a child to have/throw a tantrum Children often have temper tantrums at the age of two or thereabouts. See related entries: Babies, Anger Word Origin early 18th cent.: of unknown origin.Extra examples He had a little temper tantrum yesterday. He threw a tantrum on the school bus. They claimed she threw tantrums and was difficult to work with. Young children often have temper tantrums.