• synonyms


[pyoo-er-il, -uh-rahyl, pyoor-il, -ahyl]
See more synonyms for puerile on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to a child or to childhood.
  2. childishly foolish; immature or trivial: a puerile piece of writing.
Show More

Origin of puerile

1650–60; < Latin puerīlis boyish, equivalent to puer boy + -īlis -ile
Related formspu·er·ile·ly, adverbnon·pu·er·ile, adjectivenon·pu·er·ile·ly, adverb

Synonyms for puerile

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for puerile

callow, infantile, babyish, foolish, green, immature, inane, inexperienced, irresponsible, jejune, juvenile, naive, petty, ridiculous, silly, trivial, weak, young, unfledged

Examples from the Web for puerile

Contemporary Examples of puerile

Historical Examples of puerile

  • Their falsehoods were puerile, their affirmations ridiculous.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • He only issued from his torpor at night to fall into blind and puerile fits of anger.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • The ideal is as impracticable as it is puerile and retrograde.

  • We are too absorbed in the puerile interests and occupations of daily life.

    The Golden Fountain

    Lilian Staveley

  • The officers took, as usual, a puerile revenge in the form of a burlesque.

British Dictionary definitions for puerile


  1. exhibiting silliness; immature; trivial
  2. of or characteristic of a child
Show More
Derived Formspuerilely, adverbpuerility (pjʊəˈrɪlɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for puerile

C17: from Latin puerīlis childish, from puer a boy
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 puerile


1660s, "youthful, boyish," a back-formation from puerility, or else from French puéril (15c.), from Latin puerilis "boyish; childish," from puer "boy, child" (see puerility). Disparaging sense, "juvenile, immature," is from 1680s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper