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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for juvenile

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On Wednesday the Justice Department also announced the result of an investigation into conditions at a juvenile detention facility in South Carolina. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Justice Department investigating Mississippi prison conditions amid slew of deaths," 5 Feb. 2020 The boy was taken to the county juvenile detention facility. cleveland, "Drunk passenger gets out of car during traffic stop, is arrested for underage drinking: University Heights police blotter," 30 Jan. 2020 Carr, who is now an adult, was adjudicated delinquent by a Family Court judge and sentenced to six months in a juvenile facility in 2017. Washington Post, "Court says insurance doesn’t cover attacker in school fight," 30 Jan. 2020 The middle-schooler remains held without bail in a juvenile facility. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "A Young Life Tragically Taken: Slain Barnard Student ‘Already Was Making the World a Better Place’," 18 Dec. 2019 Depending on the charge, the penalty for the teenager can be up to 18 months in a juvenile facility or up to five years in a restricted placement facility. Jan Ransom, New York Times, "Lawyer Casts Doubt on Boy’s Statements About Murder of Barnard Student," 17 Dec. 2019 In all, five buildings are planned for the new site — the courthouse to replace the existing Frank Murphy Hall of Justice downtown, the adult jail, a juvenile detention facility, an administration building and a utilities building. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "New Wayne County jail complex rising rapidly near I-75 in Detroit. Here's a look at its progress.," 17 Dec. 2019 The 13-year-old is being held at a juvenile detention facility and will appear back in court on Tuesday and charges will be finalized at a later hearing, per the AP. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "A Barnard Student's Stabbing Death Has Rattled NYC and a 13-Year-Old Is in Custody. Here's What to Know," 14 Dec. 2019 Authorities in Nashville, Tennessee, apprehended the last of four teens who escaped from a juvenile detention facility in late November, the Metro Nashville Police Department announced Thursday. Victoria Albert, CBS News, "Nashville authorities capture last teen who escaped from detention facility," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On a bad day, however, Aries’ strong will and temper tantrums can become a bit juvenile. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Zodiac Love Compatibility: Which Signs to Date — and Which to Avoid," 12 Feb. 2020 Participation in the North Olmsted diversion program varies annually, with 48 juveniles involved in 2019 and 54 in 2018. John Benson, cleveland, "North Olmsted continues with county juvenile diversion program," 12 Feb. 2020 By 1965, a few juveniles were rolling on their backs and whimpering for attention, just like puppies. Popular Science, "Did humans truly domesticate dogs? Canine history is more of a mystery than you think.," 10 Feb. 2020 The minimum sentence for first-degree murder for a juvenile is life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. CBS News, "Teen charged in shooting at Colorado STEM school pleads guilty to murder," 7 Feb. 2020 The bills would result in sending more people who violate the terms of their probation to prison; put more juveniles who commit crimes behind bars; and limit when inmates can be released from prison early. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Republicans ready to pass crime bills but won't fund new prison," 5 Feb. 2020 The Justice Department said officers have failed to protect juveniles from harm. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "Justice Department investigating Mississippi prison conditions amid slew of deaths," 5 Feb. 2020 Sometime after that, Garcia’s mother called sheriff’s investigators and told them there were some juveniles in Blount County with information about the case. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Couple gets 35 years in prison for strangling 17-year-old Birmingham girl in Blount County in 2015," 29 Jan. 2020 The new study has already shown that older birds encounter boats more than juveniles. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Seabird ‘cops’ spy on sneaky fishing vessels," 27 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about juvenile

Time Traveler for juvenile

Time Traveler

The first known use of juvenile was in 1625

See more words from the same year

Statistics for juvenile

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Juvenile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juvenile. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for juvenile

juvenile

adjective
How to pronounce juvenile (audio) How to pronounce juvenile (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on juvenile

What made you want to look up juvenile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!