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


nonage, springtime, youth



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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

Each day the circle grew, and on the final day, one young man opened up about his traumatic childhood. Anchorage Daily News, "Around Alaska, there’s a new approach to suicide prevention: Think locally," 17 Sep. 2019 He was born with a club foot and wore leg braces throughout his childhood, his brother said. Dan Simon, CNN, "He was a Yale graduate, Wall Street banker and entrepreneur. Today he's homeless in Los Angeles," 17 Sep. 2019 In the collage, Meghan shared a photo of a young Prince Harry with his mother, Princess Diana, followed by a few from his childhood with Prince William. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Just Shared a Never-Before-Seen Photo of Baby Archie on Instagram," 15 Sep. 2019 Johnson, who is Umatilla, Cayuse and Nez Perce, has participated in various events throughout her childhood. oregonlive, "Pendleton Round-Up showcases the other side of Oregon," 14 Sep. 2019 It’s easier to let the relationship die off now than to manage hostile, unpredictable Auntie Pathy throughout your kids’ childhood., "Need advice? Submit questions for Miss Conduct here.," 14 Sep. 2019 Her most recent stint was visiting the kids at her old middle school in Mansfield, Texas Monday (Sept. 9) while filming a documentary about her childhood. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Selena Gomez & the Playground Scene: Her 8 Cutest Moments With Kids," 13 Sep. 2019 Levine spent his childhood in Louisiana and North Carolina. Jonas Shaffer,, "A look inside the secretive Ravens ‘Council,’ where brotherhood, dedication and a touch of humor rule," 13 Sep. 2019 Featuring an interactive visitor exhibition called Strawberry Fields Nothing is Real, the visitor center details the history of both the Salvation Army and Lennon’s life, particularly his childhood. Phil Boucher,, "Strawberry Fields: Beatles Fans Can Finally Enter John Lennon's 'Childhood Sanctuary' in Liverpool," 13 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for childhood

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for childhood

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

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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

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Comments on childhood

What made you want to look up childhood? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


fear of the number 13

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