juvenile

adjective
ju·​ve·​nile | \ ˈjü-və-ˌnī(-ə)l How to pronounce juvenile (audio) , -nᵊl How to pronounce juvenile (audio) \

Definition of juvenile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physiologically immature or undeveloped : young juvenile birds
2a : of, relating to, characteristic of, or suitable for children or young people juvenile fiction
b : of or relating to young people who have committed or are accused of committing a criminal offense the juvenile justice system juvenile crime
3 : reflecting psychological or intellectual immaturity : childish juvenile behavior juvenile pranks told him he was being juvenile
4 : derived from sources within the earth and coming to the surface for the first time used especially of water and gas

juvenile

noun

Definition of juvenile (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a young person : youth a gang of juveniles
b : a book for children or young people
2 : a young individual resembling an adult of its kind except in size and reproductive activity: such as
a : a fledged bird not yet in adult plumage
b : a 2-year-old racehorse
3 : an actor or actress who plays youthful parts

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Synonyms & Antonyms for juvenile

Synonyms: Adjective

adolescent, immature, young, youngish, youthful

Synonyms: Noun

bairn [chiefly Scottish], bambino, bud, chap [Southern & Midland], chick, child, cub, kid, kiddie (also kiddy), kiddo, moppet, sprat, sprout, squirt, whelp, youngling, youngster, youth

Antonyms: Adjective

adult, grown-up, mature, matured

Antonyms: Noun

adult, grown-up

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Examples of juvenile in a Sentence

Adjective

She criticized his juvenile behavior at the party. a juvenile alligator just hatched from its egg

Noun

She works to keep juveniles away from drugs. a medical study that followed juveniles through adolescence and into adulthood
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Morris criticized the state's restitution law for removing any discretion from a judge, particularly in a juvenile case. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Judge to issue written ruling on restitution for teen who ignited Eagle Creek fire," 17 May 2018 An increase in juvenile cases tracks with what Orleans Chief Juvenile Court Judge Candice Bates-Anderson told the New Orleans City Council about trafficking cases in October. Kevin Litten, NOLA.com, "Human trafficking in Louisiana continues to increase, state numbers show," 5 Mar. 2018 Black children represent about a third of juvenile arrests and more than 40% of juvenile detentions nationwide. Tyrone Beason, The Seattle Times, "As King County looks to end youth detention, Choose 180 offers a path of ‘restorative justice’," 12 Apr. 2019 As a teenager, Flores was on juvenile parole, involved in gangs, and dropped out of high school. Katie Halper, Teen Vogue, "Lucy Flores: Biden's Unwanted Touching Should be Part of #MeToo Conversations," 6 Apr. 2019 Further investigation led police to two juvenile suspects. Emily Sweeney, BostonGlobe.com, "In Wareham, a case of SUV-dipping," 6 July 2018 Buckingham said there are certain circumstances under Indiana law in which charges against juvenile suspects can be pursued in adult court. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Bosma says legislators are reviewing state law after Noblesville shooting," 6 June 2018 Fort Worth Police spokesman Bradley Perez said the juvenile suspect was arrested Wednesday. CBS News, "Report: 14-year-old stabbed, killed after fight that started over sleepover," 1 June 2018 Officials have said that seven of the juvenile suspects were from Waukegan and one was from Beach Park. Jim Newton, Lake County News-Sun, "Man charged in Great America attack is a fugitive again for second time in less than a month," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The identity of the juvenile wasn’t publicly released. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "Family of Connecticut Shooting Victim Pushes Tougher Gun-Storage Law," 27 Nov. 2018 In a third instance, Miami-Dade police are investigating the shooting of a juvenile in a residential neighborhood at 2000 NW 67 St. At least four shots were fired near homes and an apartment's playground. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "Three early morning shootings send two men and a juvenile to the hospital," 7 July 2018 Covington police said the name of the juvenile is not being released. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "Second juvenile arrested in cancer patient killing," 20 June 2018 However, this particular specimen might have been a juvenile. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the New Titanosaur, a Giant That Fills in Dinosaur Fossil Gaps," 13 Feb. 2019 All four juveniles were charged with interfering with a police officer, third-degree criminal trespass, third-degree burglary and third-degree conspiracy to commit burglary, police said. Mikaela Porter, courant.com, "West Hartford Police: Four Juveniles Arrested After Car Burglaries Near Concord Street," 29 June 2018 The juvenile has been lodged in the Campbell County Juvenile Detention Facility located in Newport. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Body of missing Covington woman found near Rabbit Hash, 2 arrested," 15 June 2018 Four juveniles were taken into custody after attempting to carjack a woman at 7:05 a.m. June 4 in the parking lot of St. Bernard's Parish, 7476 Harwood Ave., according to a Wauwatosa Police report. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Four juveniles taken into custody after attempted carjacking in Tosa," 12 June 2018 Both juveniles were apprehended a few minutes later, when the victim flagged down an NOPD officer. Marie Simoneaux, NOLA.com, "2 juveniles accused of trying to rob man of his bike in St. Roch: NOPD," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'juvenile.' 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 juvenile

Adjective

1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1733, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for juvenile

Adjective and Noun

French or Latin; French juvénile, from Latin juvenilis, from juvenis young person — more at young

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Statistics for juvenile

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for juvenile

The first known use of juvenile was in 1625

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More Definitions for juvenile

juvenile

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of juvenile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

disapproving : unpleasantly childish
: relating to or meant for young people
: of or relating to young people who have committed crimes

juvenile

noun

English Language Learners Definition of juvenile (Entry 2 of 2)

: a young person : a person who is not yet old enough to be legally considered an adult
: a young bird or animal

juvenile

adjective
ju·​ve·​nile | \ ˈjü-və-ˌnīl How to pronounce juvenile (audio) , -və-nᵊl\

Kids Definition of juvenile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not fully grown or developed a juvenile bird
2 : of or designed for young people a juvenile magazine
3 : having or showing a lack of emotional maturity juvenile pranks

juvenile

noun

Kids Definition of juvenile (Entry 2 of 2)

: a young person : youth

juvenile

adjective
ju·​ve·​nile | \ ˈjü-və-ˌnīl How to pronounce juvenile (audio) , -vən-ᵊl How to pronounce juvenile (audio) \

Medical Definition of juvenile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physiologically immature or undeveloped juvenile fish
2 : of, relating to, characteristic of, or affecting children or young people juvenile arthritis
3 : reflecting psychological or intellectual immaturity juvenile behavior

juvenile

noun

Medical Definition of juvenile (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a young person especially : one below the legally established age (as of 18) of adulthood
2 : a young individual resembling an adult of its kind except in size and reproductive activity

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juvenile

noun
ju·​ve·​nile | \ ˈjü-və-ˌnīl, -nəl\

Legal Definition of juvenile

: an individual who is under an age fixed by law (as 18 years) at which he or she would be charged as an adult for a criminal act — compare minor

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More from Merriam-Webster on juvenile

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with juvenile

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for juvenile

Spanish Central: Translation of juvenile

Nglish: Translation of juvenile for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of juvenile for Arabic Speakers

Comments on juvenile

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