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[chahyld-hoo d] /ˈtʃaɪld hʊd/
the state or period of being a child.
the early stage in the existence of something:
the childhood of the human race.
Origin of childhood
before 950; Middle English childhode, Old English cildhād. See child, -hood
Related forms
prechildhood, noun
1. youth, boyhood, girlhood, school days. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for childhood
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He dwelt on the childhood of Philothea with peculiar pleasure.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • He's getting old, and he's come along into his second childhood.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "We have always been frank with one another since our childhood," said he.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • "You should have a little more sympathy with childhood, Cornelius," said his father.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • There are old scenes of childhood associated with it which time can never erase.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
British Dictionary definitions for childhood


the condition of being a child; the period of life before puberty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for childhood

"period of life from birth to puberty," Old English cildhad; see child + -hood.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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childhood in Medicine

childhood child·hood (chīld'hud')
The period of life between infancy and puberty.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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