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2017 Word of the Year

puerility

[pyoo-uh-ril-i-tee, pyoo-ril-] /ˌpyu əˈrɪl ɪ ti, pyʊˈrɪl-/
noun, plural puerilities.
1.
the state or quality of being a child.
2.
the quality of being puerile; childish foolishness or triviality.
3.
a puerile act, idea, remark, etc.:
an inexcusable puerility.
Origin of puerility
late Middle English
1425-1475
First recorded in 1425-75; late Middle English word from Latin word puerīlitās. See puerile, -ity
Related forms
nonpuerility, noun, plural nonpuerilities.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for puerility
Historical Examples
  • They lavish their strength, their puerility, and their anger.

    Napoleon the Little Victor Hugo
  • We can infer this from the signs of puerility of certain legends.

  • But the passengers might surely be as alive to the puerility as any one else.

    The Town Leigh Hunt
  • It has bad English, bad verse, and puerility; but is not indelicate.

  • They began their sitting in puerility; they terminated their decrees in blood!

  • In brief, there is no puerility that is not at home in this sphere of misbegotten effort.

    Ponkapog Papers Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • We are perfectly convinced of the puerility of it all, but that does not help us in the least to mend it.

  • Her tone calls him back to a sense of the ungentleman-likeness and puerility of his conduct.

    Alas! Rhoda Broughton
  • The puerility of garb and ceremonial was lost in the significance of the result.

    Caybigan James Hopper
  • There was a childishness, a puerility about it that made the men smile.

    Caybigan James Hopper
Word Origin and History for puerility
n.

late 15c., from Middle French puérilité (15c.), from Latin puerilitatem (nominative puerilitas) "childishness," from puerilis "boyish, youthful; childish, trivial, silly," from puer "child, boy," from PIE *pau- (1) "few, little," with sense extended to "small, young" (cf. Latin putus "boy," Sanskrit putrah "son, boy," Avestan puthra- "son, child;" see few (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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