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

The Virginia General Assembly passed a law last year prohibiting the release of the names of juvenile crime victims, and Cory said the passenger may have been the victim of a crime if the driver is found to have broken the law. Washington Post, "Man struck and dragged by car," 10 June 2018 Detectives are asking if anyone has additional information about his other potential relationships with juvenile victims to call Det. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Wendy's supervisor charged with criminal sexual abuse in Mokena," 8 May 2018 Cullen-Williams is accused of harassing the juvenile male victim, a fellow student at Shorewood High School, over a nearly four-year period, from September 2014 to April 2018. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Shorewood student allegedly blackmailed classmate into having sex with him," 18 Apr. 2018 Dowd has researched the consequences for the American Academy of Pediatrics and seen them firsthand during a four-decade medical career in which she's treated at least 500 juvenile gunshot victims. John Woodrow Cox And Steven Rich, courant.com, "What happens to children who survive school shootings in America?," 22 Mar. 2018 Police were notified by Grandview Medical Center that two juvenile victims had arrived at the hospital with injuries from an attack. Carol Robinson, AL.com, "2 Hoover High seniors charged in ambush killing of Clay teen," 15 Feb. 2018 Officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and Larimer County searched the trail in question and found a dead juvenile mountain lion. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Runner Strangled a Mountain Lion After It Attacked Him," 5 Feb. 2019 However, this case is being considered under juvenile law, which carries lesser sentences. Geir Moulson, The Seattle Times, "German suspect in politician data hack says he acted alone," 8 Jan. 2019 Lake County plans to push privatizing food operations at the jail and juvenile center to reduce costs of food, bread and dairy products. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "County aims to outsource food service for jail, juvenile center," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Three of the 25 were juveniles, and the other 22 were adults. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "People buried at Stonehenge may have come from as far away as Wales," 3 Aug. 2018 The occupants of the SUV, a female driver and six juveniles, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Henry J. Morgan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "One dead, 6 injured as two-vehicle crash near Slinger temporarily shuts down I-41," 9 July 2018 Two juveniles, aged 8 and 11, were also seated inside the Toyota and sustained minor injuries. Gary Warth, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Sheriff's patrol car broadsided by vehicle while enroute to accident," 5 July 2018 The vehicle was carrying four juveniles between the ages of 15 and 17, according to the sheriff’s office. Indianapolis Star, "Teens plunge into Johnson County pond after police chase," 24 June 2018 After those escapes, the remaining nine juveniles living at the ranch were transferred to San Francisco’s Juvenile Hall. Matier & Ross, SFChronicle.com, "City closes youth corrections facility — residents keep running away," 27 June 2018 Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Cyntoia Brown, Sentenced to Life in Prison as a Juvenile Victim of Sex Trafficking, Will Finally Go Free," 7 Jan. 2019 On Monday, Guilford Police arrested and charged a juvenile with second-degree manslaughter in connection to Ethan’s death. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "Family of Connecticut Shooting Victim Pushes Tougher Gun-Storage Law," 27 Nov. 2018 In August 2014, a North Carolina mother was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile for allegedly helping her 16-year-old son try the fire challenge. Allyson Chiu, The Seattle Times, "Internet ‘fire challenge’ leaves 12-year-old Detroit girl severely burned," 21 Aug. 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

15 Mar 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

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