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See more synonyms for childhood on Thesaurus.com
  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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. youth, boyhood, girlhood, school days.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for childhood

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He dwelt on the childhood of Philothea with peculiar pleasure.


    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.


    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


  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


"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


  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.