child·​hood | \ ˈchī(-ə)ld-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce childhood (audio) \

Definition of childhood

1 : the state or period of being a child
2 : the early period in the development of something

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Synonyms & Antonyms for childhood



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Examples of childhood in a Sentence

diseases that can occur in childhood Both men had unhappy childhoods.
Recent Examples on the Web There is also a stunning duet of sorts between young Shahidi and the 76-year-old activist Angela Davis, who share Coates’ outraged accounting of the Martin Luther King Day history lessons from his childhood. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: HBO’s ‘Between the World and Me’ is a painful and poetic look at racism in America," 20 Nov. 2020 Lipsitz’s German immigrant doctor father and lawyer mom had mapped out her career during her childhood. NBC News, "Dr. Nancy Lipsitz: This is what medical school DOESN'T teach women about family and career," 20 Nov. 2020 He was born and spent his early childhood in Siena, Italy, so Myers figured Mannion could share a little Italian. Ron Kroichick,, "Warriors draft pick Nico Mannion, already on the spot, scores points in Italian," 19 Nov. 2020 For those parents feeling a bit nostalgic for their own childhood, the good news is many familiar favorites are not only continuing to live on, their newest iterations are some of this season’s must-haves. Kimberly Singletary,, "Natural hair doll, Baby Shark vacuum cleaner top the list of 2020 toys for the holidays," 18 Nov. 2020 But his own childhood, rather than his academic work, provides the starting point for this story. Jenny Uglow, The New York Review of Books, "Making London Their Own," 17 Nov. 2020 She was born in Somalia and immigrated as a refugee during her childhood, which has been a line of attack from the president. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Ilhan Omar calls Trump rallies 'Klan rallies'," 16 Nov. 2020 Christy bared it all, starting with her childhood in the tiny town of Itmann, West Virginia. David Begnaud, CBS News, "Prizefighter Christy Martin on facing her biggest battle outside of the ring," 14 Nov. 2020 Cameron will make the clam chowder her father made on Christmas Eve all during her childhood. oregonlive, "Who needs holiday traditions? All of us: Tom Hallman at large," 13 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'childhood.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of childhood

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for childhood

Time Traveler

The first known use of childhood was before the 12th century

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Statistics for childhood

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Childhood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for childhood


How to pronounce childhood (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of childhood

: the period of time when a person is a child


child·​hood | \ ˈchīld-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce childhood (audio) \

Kids Definition of childhood

: the period of life between infancy and youth


child·​hood | \ ˈchīld-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce childhood (audio) \

Medical Definition of childhood

: the state or period of being a child

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