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

The special will include stand-up interspersed with personal clips from her childhood and interviews with her family to give an intimate look at her life. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Jenny Slate to face Stage Fright in first stand-up comedy special at Netflix," 16 Sep. 2019 Oral histories such as these preserve often-winding career paths and capture memories from childhood to the present. Theresa Mcculla, Smithsonian, "Here’s What’s Brewing in the New Smithsonian Beer Collections," 16 Sep. 2019 The only person Mei suggested was likely to have romantic feelings for me was my oldest childhood friend, a gay man. Wired, "Flirty or Friendzone? New AI Scans Your Texts for True Love," 16 Sep. 2019 From his childhood in Duxbury, Massachusetts to his current status as one of the most successful acts within the American reggae scene, Scott Woodruff has adhered to a singular approach to recording. Patricia Meschino, Billboard, "Stick Figure Premieres Trippy, Mysterious 'All For You' Video," 12 Sep. 2019 That’s why experts say early childhood is the best time for adults and peers to model these emotional responses so kids can learn them. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "An innovative preschool in Qatar is teaching toddlers empathy," 10 Sep. 2019 Taking place over 2003-2004, the action many millennials remember from childhood/early adulthood is now distant enough to be history, and well worth revisiting, since, like bootcut jeans, everything old is new again. Anne Cohen,, "Keira Knightley’s Latest Period Piece Takes Us All The Way Back To 2003," 24 Aug. 2019 In some ways, Gen Z’s experience of growing up in a tech-saturated era reminds me of something from my own childhood. Marcie Merriman, Quartz at Work, "Will tech addiction mean the rise or demise of the Gen Z workforce?," 22 Aug. 2019 Yes, the melting glaciers, less ice and warmer weather are noticeable and much different from his childhood, said Kulusuk Mayor Justus Paulsen, 58. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Earth’s future is being written in fast-melting Greenland," 20 Aug. 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

22 Sep 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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