child·​hood ˈchī(-ə)ld-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce childhood (audio)
: the state or period of being a child
: the early period in the development of something

Example Sentences

diseases that can occur in childhood Both men had unhappy childhoods.
Recent Examples on the Web Separation from a parent during childhood was associated with rates of diagnosis two to three times higher than among people whose families had remained intact. Matthew M. Kurtz, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2023 Cail began to swim competitively during childhood, her family told WMUR. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 27 Feb. 2023 During childhood, many of us Millennials only ever got to catch glimmers, like rare fireflies, of the sound known as new age. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 18 Feb. 2023 During Goro’s childhood, the great animator was mostly absent, cranking out masterpieces. Sam Anderson, New York Times, 14 Feb. 2023 Models had their hoods on for a school-kid-in-detention look, and Sperry was the shoe sponsor of the show, a classic staple during Hilfiger’s childhood. Irene Kim, Vogue, 14 Feb. 2023 Others experienced devastating losses or abuse during childhood. Mark Travers, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2023 Vargas Jasa’s father relocated for jobs a few times during her childhood. Brenda Muñoz Murguia,, 12 Feb. 2023 During his childhood, Jim lived in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and then attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for college, according to LinkedIn. Women's Health, 10 Feb. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near childhood

Cite this Entry

“Childhood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


child·​hood ˈchīld-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce childhood (audio)
: the state or time of being a child

Medical Definition


child·​hood ˈchīld-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce childhood (audio)
: the state or period of being a child

More from Merriam-Webster on childhood

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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