Simple Definition of puerile
: silly or childish especially in a way that shows a lack of seriousness or good judgment
Examples of puerile in a sentence
<told the teenagers that such puerile behavior would not be tolerated during the ceremony>
<allowed the company to be taken over by a bunch of puerile whippersnappers fresh out of business school>
Did You Know?
Puerile may call to mind qualities of youth and immaturity, but the term itself is no spring chicken. On the contrary, it's been around for more than three centuries, and its predecessors in French and Latin, the adjectives puéril and puerilis, respectively, are far older. Those two terms have the same basic meaning as the English word puerile, and they both trace to the Latin noun puer, meaning "boy" or "child." Nowadays, puerile can describe the acts or utterances of an actual child, but it more often refers (usually with marked disapproval) to occurrences of childishness where adult maturity would be expected or preferred.
Origin of puerile
French or Latin; French puéril, from Latin puerilis, from puer boy, child; akin to Sanskrit putra son, child and perhaps to Greek pais boy, child — more at few
First Known Use: 1652
Medical Definition of puerile
1: marked by or suggesting childishness and immaturity
2: being respiration that is like that of a child in being louder than normal <puerile breathing>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up puerile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).