[ joo-vuh-nl, -nahyl ]
See synonyms for juvenile on Thesaurus.com
  1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or suitable or intended for young persons: juvenile books.

  2. young; youthful: juvenile years.

  1. immature; childish; infantile: His juvenile tantrums are not in keeping with his age.

  1. a young person; youth.

  2. Theater.

    • a youthful male or female role.

    • an actor or actress who plays such parts.

  1. a book for children.

  2. Ornithology. a young bird that has its first set of contur feathers.

  3. a two-year-old racehorse.

Origin of juvenile

First recorded in 1615–25; from Latin juvenīlis “youthful,” equivalent to juven(is) “youthful” + -īlis adjective suffix; see -ile

synonym study For juvenile

1. See young.

Other words from juvenile

  • ju·ve·nile·ly, adverb
  • pre·ju·ve·nile, adjective
  • un·ju·ve·nile, adjective

Words that may be confused with juvenile

Words Nearby juvenile

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use juvenile in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for juvenile


/ (ˈdʒuːvɪˌnaɪl) /

  1. young, youthful, or immature

  2. suitable or designed for young people: juvenile pastimes

  1. (of animals or plants) not yet fully mature

  2. of or denoting young birds that have developed their first plumage of adult feathers

  3. geology occurring at the earth's surface for the first time; new: juvenile water; juvenile gases

  1. a juvenile person, animal, or plant

  2. an actor who performs youthful roles

  1. a book intended for young readers

Origin of juvenile

C17: from Latin juvenīlis youthful, from juvenis young

Derived forms of juvenile

  • juvenilely, adverb
  • juvenileness, noun

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