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critical period

noun
  1. psychol a period in a lifetime during which a specific stage of development usually occurs. If it fails to do so, it cannot readily occur afterwards
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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

Related Words for critical period

culmination, twist, climax, juncture, crux, axis, change, contingency, crisis, crossing, crossroads, crunch, cusp, development, emergency, exigency, hinge, nexus, pass, peak