• synonyms

growing pains

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plural noun
  1. dull, quasi-rheumatic pains of varying degree in the limbs during childhood and adolescence, often popularly associated with the process of growing.
  2. emotional difficulties experienced during adolescence and preadulthood.
  3. difficulties attending any new project or any rapid development of an existing project: a city plagued with growing pains.
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Origin of growing pains

First recorded in 1800–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for growing pains

Historical Examples of growing pains

  • In the intervals of harkening to my growing-pains I was, of course, still a little girl.

    The Promised Land

    Mary Antin

  • The American Army's respect for the French began to have growing-pains.

  • So much for the race, in the gripe of growing-pains; but what of the nurses?


    Louis Couperus

  • I don't see Fallows herself suffering from no growing-pains.

  • His legs are still racked with growing-pains, but he has a good time, nevertheless.

British Dictionary definitions for growing pains

growing pains

pl n
  1. pains in muscles or joints sometimes experienced by children during a period of unusually rapid growth
  2. difficulties besetting a new enterprise in its early stages
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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

growing pains in Medicine

growing pains

  1. Pains in the limbs and joints of children or adolescents, frequently occurring at night and often attributed to rapid growth but arising from various unrelated causes.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with growing pains

growing pains

Problems that arise in beginning or enlarging an enterprise, as in The company is undergoing growing pains but should be viable by next year. This expression, which dates from the late 1800s, originally referred to the joint and limb aches experienced by youngsters who are growing rapidly. By about 1900 it was being used figuratively.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.