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juvenile

[joo-vuh-nl, -nahyl]
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adjective
  1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or suitable or intended for young persons: juvenile books.
  2. young; youthful: juvenile years.
  3. immature; childish; infantile: His juvenile tantrums are not in keeping with his age.
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noun
  1. a young person; youth.
  2. Theater.
    1. a youthful male or female role.
    2. an actor or actress who plays such parts.
  3. a book for children.
  4. Ornithology. a young bird in the stage when it has fledged, if altricial, or has replaced down of hatching, if precocial.
  5. a two-year-old racehorse.
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Origin of juvenile

1615–25; < Latin juvenīlis youthful, equivalent to juven(is) youthful + -īlis -ile
Related formsju·ve·nile·ly, adverbpre·ju·ve·nile, adjectiveun·ju·ve·nile, adjectiveun·ju·ve·nile·ly, adverbun·ju·ve·nile·ness, noun
Can be confusedjejune juvenile

Synonyms

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1. See young.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for juvenile

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • His narrative is adapted alike for the juvenile mind and for the adult.

  • The conversation at this point was interrupted by the appearance of the juvenile man.

    The Strollers

    Frederic S. Isham

  • With impulsive kindness he stops and speaks assuringly to this juvenile spy.

    Oswald Langdon

    Carson Jay Lee

  • This miracle is as common in the "Acta Sanctorum" as in the juvenile romances.

    The Book-Hunter

    John Hill Burton

  • Merrihew curled the ends of his juvenile mustache and scowled fiercely.

    The Lure of the Mask

    Harold MacGrath


British Dictionary definitions for juvenile

juvenile

adjective
  1. young, youthful, or immature
  2. suitable or designed for young peoplejuvenile pastimes
  3. (of animals or plants) not yet fully mature
  4. of or denoting young birds that have developed their first plumage of adult feathers
  5. geology occurring at the earth's surface for the first time; newjuvenile water; juvenile gases
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noun
  1. a juvenile person, animal, or plant
  2. an actor who performs youthful roles
  3. a book intended for young readers
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Derived Formsjuvenilely, adverbjuvenileness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin juvenīlis youthful, from juvenis young
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 juvenile

adj.

1620s, from Latin iuvenilis "of or belonging to youth," from iuvenis "young person," originally "young" (cf. French jeune; see young). Juvenile delinquency first recorded 1816; Juvenile delinquent the following year.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper