juvenile

adjective
ju·ve·nile | \ ˈjü-və-ˌnī(-ə)l , -nᵊl \

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

bambino, bud, chick, child, cub, kid, kiddie (also kiddy), kiddo, moppet, 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

Of those who did provide victim-impact statements, many were adamant that the juvenile killers should never be freed. Samantha Melamed, Philly.com, "After 26 years working with at-risk teens, can a Philly couple forgive the one who killed their son?," 13 July 2018 Late last year, the comedian was booed off stage at a juvenile diabetes event in Denver over an anti-Donald Trump routine that fell flat with the crowd, The New York Post reported. Fox News, "George Lopez uses water bottle to pretend to urinate on Trump's star in Hollywood," 12 July 2018 Garza is being held in lieu of $3 million bail at a juvenile detention facility in Kane County. Clifford Ward, chicagotribune.com, "16-count indictment handed up against DuPage teen accused in fatal shooting that officials say was gang-related," 9 July 2018 The Chesapeake crab population was down 18 percent in an annual survey this winter, but a surging group of juvenile crabs could grow big enough to catch late in the season. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "After July Fourth crab feasts, an uncertain season for Maryland seafood industry," 6 July 2018 Ray, a Dallas County juvenile probation officer, had been found dead that evening by Grand Prairie firefighters responding to a house fire. Deanna Boyd, star-telegram, "He worked to steer troubled youths from crime, but Ray Hernandez died a murder victim," 2 July 2018 At some point in the night, there will come an opportunity to suggest something really, really juvenile. Sophia Benoit, GQ, "14 Ways to Exude Big Dick Energy at Any Barbecue," 2 July 2018 Nance said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, Public Defender Jeff Adachi and Superior Court supervising juvenile Judge Monica Wiley all agreed with his decision. Matier & Ross, SFChronicle.com, "City closes youth corrections facility — residents keep running away," 27 June 2018 The chief medical examiner determined that the juvenile’s death was accidental after performing an autopsy on Sunday, officials said. Abigail Feldman, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Untimely death’ of female juvenile in Goffstown, N.H. was accidental, officials say," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One reserve sheriff’s deputy was assaulted by the host and three patrol cars were damaged by the crowd during a major disturbance in the 3600 block of Hampstead Road, where officers broke up a large party of adults and juveniles. Carol Cormaci, latimes.com, "La Cañada History: Family Swim Nights popular at Indian Springs 60 years ago this month," 2 July 2018 Ten juveniles and teenagers have been killed so far this year. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "As murders rise among Indianapolis youth, so too does the search for answers," 2 July 2018 Our recent camera trap data shows a lot of juveniles and newborns are being protected by the dominant male, under his legs—that’s strange because sometimes dominant males commit infanticide. National Geographic, "World’s Biggest Pig Captured in Rare Video," 22 June 2018 Police took eight juveniles, ranging in age from 15 to 17, and Gregory Battle, 18, of Waukegan, into custody in connection with that Sept. 27, 2017 incident. Lindsey Salvatelli, Lake County News-Sun, "Two girls in custody after Six Flags fight," 17 June 2018 In a related action, Devon A. Harding, 18, Chicago, was charged with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, obstructing identification and three counts of contributing to the criminal delinquency of a juvenile, police said. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland police blotter," 10 July 2018 The Menomonee Falls Police department is attempting to identify a man accused of assaulting a juvenile at Goodwill, W178 N9315 Water Tower Place, at about 8:45 p.m. June 30. Adriana Ramirez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man accused of sexually assaulting girl inside a Menomonee Falls Goodwill, police say," 13 July 2018 The teen, who is not identified by name because his a juvenile, was charged with possessing the gun and some of the cannabis, police said in the release. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "Loaded gun, bags of marijuana recovered during traffic stop in Evanston: Police," 13 July 2018 Salem said 49 juveniles, including a 2-year-old, were rescued from trafficking situations in Orange County last year. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orange County's crisis shelter for human-trafficking victims is full — and that may be a good thing," 12 July 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

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

Noun

see juvenile entry 1

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Statistics for juvenile

Last Updated

30 Aug 2018

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)

: 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 , -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 , -vən-ᵊl \

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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Comments on juvenile

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occurring twice a year or every two years

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