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childhood

[chahyld-hood]
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noun
  1. the state or period of being a child.
  2. the early stage in the existence of something: the childhood of the human race.
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Origin of childhood

before 950; Middle English childhode, Old English cildhād. See child, -hood
Related formspre·child·hood, noun

Synonyms

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1. youth, boyhood, girlhood, school days.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

nonagejuvenilityminoritypubertyinfancynurseryyouthcradlebabyhoodimmaturityadolescenceteensjunioritypupilage

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

childhood

noun
  1. the condition of being a child; the period of life before puberty
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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

Word Origin and History for childhood

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

childhood in Medicine

childhood

(chīldhud′)
n.
  1. The period of life between infancy and puberty.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.