Definition of hellion in English:



informalNorth American
  • A rowdy or mischievous person, especially a child.

    • ‘One minute she would sound like a wounded angel, the next like a streetwise hellion.’
    • ‘I thought Mrs. E. was one of the prettiest, nicest adults I'd ever met, and days when her teenage daughter helped out with all us little hellions were extra special.’
    • ‘They are not the happy, well adjusted children that we all imagine we can raise until we actually have the little hellions.’
    • ‘She's long and lean, with shoulder-length reddish-brown hair, smooth skin, and big brown doe eyes - which is to say, she doesn't look like a hellion.’
    • ‘I can't bring myself to admit that my kid is a hellion.’
    • ‘Bart falls in love with Reverend Lovejoy's beautiful daughter, only to discover that she is more of a hellion than he is.’
    • ‘Well, somewhat embarrassingly, I puffed my first joint at age 26 - blame it on the fact that my older sisters were uncontrollable hellions and left me terrified of the evil dope as a lad.’
    • ‘I'd been here before, once or twice, with the neighborhood hellions.’
    • ‘Have you seen the state of the hellions you'd have to teach?’
    • ‘He then meets her kids, who are of course a couple of hellions.’
    • ‘Each kid has a different father, and the kids are little hellions.’
    • ‘I've instructed the staff to keep their computers away from the little hellions.’
    • ‘She tied her hair in a ponytail and walked back to the main nursery section where all the little hellions were.’
    • ‘His signature is the social documentary, which paints teenagers as humans rather than hellions.’
    • ‘A single mom with a hellion for a daughter and a much-younger recovered-addict boyfriend - now there's someone with some conflict in her life.’
    • ‘Mozart might not have been the spendthrift hellion portrayed in the 1984 film Amadeus, but he could play the piano blindfolded, loved wooing women and wrote bawdy letters.’
    • ‘I was a hellion and I always fought with my parents.’
    • ‘Somewhat of a hellion, Watts was held in check by his tight-knit community and his father's penchant for corporal punishment.’
    • ‘He was fully backed by his sister, who was well-known in the bayous as a little hellion who always got her way.’
    • ‘She missed the clubs she'd frequent with her friends, sneaking out to drink and party, and just plain being a little hellion.’
    mischievous child, imp, monkey, Puck, rascal, rogue, minx, mischief-maker, prankster, tearaway


Mid 19th century perhaps from dialect hallion ‘a worthless fellow’, changed by association with hell.