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

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 That means patients who take Voxzogo throughout childhood are likely to reach heights similar to their peers who don’t have achondroplasia, according to BioMarin. Damian Garde, STAT, 20 Nov. 2021 His entire story — from periods of childhood homelessness in East Oakland, to stops in low-level foreign leagues, to a guaranteed contract with his hometown NBA team — offers a case study in resilience. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Nov. 2021 But Powell, 39, and the mother of a 13-year-old daughter, feared an unpaid $1,500 balance on her City Colleges of Chicago account would prevent her from pursuing her dream of becoming an early childhood educator. Karen Ann Cullotta,, 20 Nov. 2021 For the first time since their escape nearly four years ago, the two sisters are speaking out about their traumatic childhood in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer. Arielle Mitropoulos, ABC News, 19 Nov. 2021 Walton lived with his father, a school bus driver, during his childhood as his parents were separated. Drake Bentley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 19 Nov. 2021 Tamara Belinfanti is a law professor and author of an upcoming memoir about her Jamaican childhood. Vogue, 19 Nov. 2021 Like Jones — the record label associate — and other longtime friends, Sheena Crawford called Young Dolph by his childhood nickname, Mane Mane. Adrian Sainz, ajc, 19 Nov. 2021 Tulsa Remote enjoys the patronage of native son George Kaiser, a philanthropist who made his fortune in oil and whose family foundation has already poured enormous funds into creating cutting-edge early-childhood education programs. NBC News, 19 Nov. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near childhood



childhood friend

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Statistics for childhood

Last Updated

23 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Childhood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for childhood



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

More from Merriam-Webster on childhood

Nglish: Translation of childhood for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of childhood for Arabic Speakers


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