compar. of young.
(usually initial capital letter) (used to designate the junior of two related persons bearing the same name): Charles the Younger ruled after his father abdicated.


the junior of two persons in age (often used with a possessive pronoun): Her brother is seven years her younger.




Thomas ColemanCole, 1844–1916, U.S. outlaw, associated with Jesse James.



adjective, young·er [yuhng-ger] /ˈyʌŋ gər/, young·est [yuhng-gist] /ˈyʌŋ gɪst/.

being in the first or early stage of life or growth; youthful; not old: a young woman.
having the appearance, freshness, vigor, or other qualities of youth.
of or relating to youth: in one's young days.
inexperienced or immature.
not far advanced in years in comparison with another or others.
junior, as applied to the younger of two persons having the same name: the young Mr. Smith.
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.
representing or advocating recent or progressive tendencies, policies, or the like.


those who have youth; young persons collectively: the educated young of today; a game for young and old.
young offspring: a mother hen protecting her young.

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

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for younger

Contemporary Examples of younger

Historical Examples of younger

  • "Oh, I see," said the younger Milbrey—his face clearing all at once.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And the words of the younger man had an instant effect on Buck Heath.

  • "A dry question to answer," cried the younger, coming back on to his feet.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • For the moment, at least, the younger Wilson had no interest in Sidney Page.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • And the hair along the back of Younger Brother began to prick.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

British Dictionary definitions for younger


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
youthful or having qualities associated with youth; vigorous or livelyshe's very young for her age
of or relating to youthin my young days
having been established or introduced for a relatively short timea young member
in an early stage of progress or development; not far advancedthe day was young
  1. (of mountains) formed in the Alpine orogeny and still usually rugged in outline
  2. another term for youthful (def. 4)
(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


(functioning as plural) offspring, esp young animalsa rabbit with her young
with young (of animals) pregnant
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



Brigham (ˈbrɪɡəm). 1801–77, US Mormon leader, who led the Mormon migration to Utah and founded Salt Lake City (1847)
Edward. 1683–1765, English poet and dramatist, noted for his Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742–45)
Lester. 1909–59, US saxophonist and clarinetist. He was a leading early exponent of the tenor saxophone in jazz
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)
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
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 younger



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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

younger in Medicine


[yŭng]John 1907-1997

British biologist whose experiments with the giant nerve cells of squid contributed to the knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of nerves.


Thomas 1773-1829

British physician and physicist who in 1801 postulated the three-color theory of color vision. Young also discovered (1801) astigmatism and described accommodation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

younger in Science


[yŭng]Thomas 1773-1829

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.