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See more synonyms for young on Thesaurus.com
adjective, young·er [yuhng-ger] /ˈyʌŋ gər/, young·est [yuhng-gist] /ˈyʌŋ gɪst/.
  1. being in the first or early stage of life or growth; youthful; not old: a young woman.
  2. having the appearance, freshness, vigor, or other qualities of youth.
  3. of or relating to youth: in one's young days.
  4. inexperienced or immature.
  5. not far advanced in years in comparison with another or others.
  6. junior, as applied to the younger of two persons having the same name: the young Mr. Smith.
  7. being in an early stage generally, as of existence, progress, operation, development, or maturity; new; early: a young wine; It is a young company, not yet firmly established.
  8. representing or advocating recent or progressive tendencies, policies, or the like.
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  1. those who have youth; young persons collectively: the educated young of today; a game for young and old.
  2. young offspring: a mother hen protecting her young.
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  1. with young, (of an animal) pregnant.
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Origin of young

before 900; Middle English yong(e), Old English geong; cognate with Dutch jong, German jung, Old Norse ungr, Gothic jungs; akin to Latin juvenis
Related formsqua·si-young, adjective

Synonyms for young

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. growing. Young, youthful, juvenile all refer to lack of age. Young is the general word for that which is undeveloped, immature, and in process of growth: a young colt, child; young shoots of wheat. Youthful has connotations suggesting the favorable characteristics of youth, such as vigor, enthusiasm, and hopefulness: youthful sports, energy, outlook. Juvenile may suggest less desirable characteristics, such as childishness, petulance, idleness, selfishness, or heedlessness ( juvenile behavior ), or it may refer simply to the years, up to the later teens, before legal responsibility: juvenile delinquency; juvenile court; juvenile books.

Antonyms for young

1. mature, old.


  1. Andrew (Jackson, Jr.),born 1932, U.S. clergyman, civil-rights leader, politician, and diplomat: mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, 1981–89.
  2. Art(hur Henry),1866–1944, U.S. cartoonist and author.
  3. Brigham,1801–77, U.S. leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  4. Charles,1864–1922, U.S. army colonel: highest-ranking black officer in World War I.
  5. Denton T.Cy, 1867–1955, U.S. baseball player.
  6. Edward,1683–1765, English poet.
  7. Ella,1867–1956, Irish poet and mythologist in the U.S.
  8. Lester WillisPresPrez, 1909–59, U.S. jazz tenor saxophonist.
  9. Owen D.,1874–1962, U.S. lawyer, industrialist, government administrator, and financier.
  10. Stark,1881–1963, U.S. drama critic, novelist, and playwright.
  11. Thomas,1773–1829, English physician, physicist, mathematician, and Egyptologist.
  12. Whitney M., Jr.,1921–71, U.S. social worker and educator: executive director of the National Urban League 1961–71.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for young

new, budding, youthful, inexperienced, baby, family, raw, juvenile, tenderfoot, adolescent, crude, modern, punk, infant, newborn, growing, green, blooming, tender, fledgling

Examples from the Web for young

Contemporary Examples of young

Historical Examples of young

  • She was in a box with two men—one old and one young—and an older woman.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The young man stared at his mother until he had mastered her meaning.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Since their meeting the young man had been her abject cavalier.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Well, I've got to take the madam and the young folks over to the Casino.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Let young men hear the praise of virtue from the lips of beauty.


    Lydia Maria Child

British Dictionary definitions for young


adjective younger (ˈjʌŋɡə) or youngest (ˈjʌŋɡɪst)
    1. having lived, existed, or been made or known for a relatively short timea young man; a young movement; a young country
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the young
  1. youthful or having qualities associated with youth; vigorous or livelyshe's very young for her age
  2. of or relating to youthin my young days
  3. having been established or introduced for a relatively short timea young member
  4. in an early stage of progress or development; not far advancedthe day was young
  5. geography
    1. (of mountains) formed in the Alpine orogeny and still usually rugged in outline
    2. another term for youthful (def. 4)
  6. (often capital) of or relating to a rejuvenated group or movement or one claiming to represent the younger members of the population, esp one adhering to a political ideologyYoung England; Young Socialists
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  1. (functioning as plural) offspring, esp young animalsa rabbit with her young
  2. with young (of animals) pregnant
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Derived Formsyoungish, adjective

Word Origin for young

Old English geong; related to Old Saxon, Old High German iung, Old Norse ungr, Latin iuvenis, Sanskrit yuvan


  1. Brigham (ˈbrɪɡəm). 1801–77, US Mormon leader, who led the Mormon migration to Utah and founded Salt Lake City (1847)
  2. Edward. 1683–1765, English poet and dramatist, noted for his Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742–45)
  3. Lester. 1909–59, US saxophonist and clarinetist. He was a leading early exponent of the tenor saxophone in jazz
  4. Neil (Percival). born 1945, Canadian rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. His albums include Harvest (1972), Rust Never Sleeps (1979), Ragged Glory (1990), and Prairie Wind (2005)
  5. Thomas. 1773–1829, English physicist, physician, and Egyptologist. He helped to establish the wave theory of light by his experiments on optical interference and assisted in the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone
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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

Word Origin and History for young


Old English geong "youthful, young," from Proto-Germanic *jungas (cf. Old Saxon and Old Frisian jung, Old Norse ungr, Middle Dutch jonc, Dutch jong, Old High German and German jung, Gothic juggs), from PIE *juwngkos, from PIE root *yeu- "vital force, youthful vigor" (cf. Sanskrit yuva "young," Latin juvenis "young," Lithuanian jaunas, Old Church Slavonic junu, Russian junyj "young," Old Irish oac, Welsh ieuanc "young").

From c.1830-1850, Young France, Young Italy, etc., were loosely applied to "republican agitators" in various monarchies; also, especially in Young England, Young America, used generally for "typical young person of the nation." For Young Turk, see Turk.

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"young animals collectively, offspring," late 15c., from young (adj.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

young in Medicine


(yŭng)John 1907-1997
  1. British biologist whose experiments with the giant nerve cells of squid contributed to the knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of nerves.
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Thomas 1773-1829
  1. British physician and physicist who in 1801 postulated the three-color theory of color vision. Young also discovered (1801) astigmatism and described accommodation.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

young in Science


  1. British physicist and physician who is best known for his contributions to the wave theory of light and his discovery of how the lens of the human eye changes shape to focus on objects of different distances. He also studied surface tension and elasticity, and Young's modulus (a measure of the rigidity of materials) is named for him. He is also credited with the first scientific definition of the word energy.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.