A person, especially a child, with remarkable gifts or qualities; a marvelous example; a wonder.
Today’s pressures on middle-class children to grow up fast begin in early childhood. Chief among them is the pressure for early intellectual attainment, deriving from a changed perception of precocity. Several decades ago precocity was looked upon with great suspicion. The child prodigy, it was thought, turned out to be a neurotic adult; thus the phrase “early ripe, early rot!”
—David Elkind The Hurried Child (1988)