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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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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 By his sophomore year in high school, Murray has served a stint in juvenile detention himself. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "No luck involved in Dejounte Murray's breakout season," 9 Feb. 2021 McCall volunteers Delilah at a local juvenile detention center and in the parking lot of the facility asks her daughter to observe what the girls behind bars have in common. Dana Rose Falcone, PEOPLE.com, "Queen Latifah Helps a Teen Accused of Murder in The Equalizer's Post-Super Bowl Premiere," 7 Feb. 2021 Juvenile court records show he was ordered to complete treatment and probation for three months, which included a 10-day sentence in juvenile detention. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Special report: Young sex abuse survivors, backed by a county attorney, say a new Utah law deprived them of justice," 24 Jan. 2021 The 15-year-old, whose identity was not released, was being held in juvenile detention on a murder charge. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "2 teens in custody after fight at Garland gas station led to fatal shooting, police say," 14 Jan. 2021 Kruckenberg-Anderson is being held at a juvenile detention facility in Rock County, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A 16-year-old allegedly killed his own newborn child in Green County, authorities say," 13 Jan. 2021 The teenagers were arrested and all three were taken to a juvenile detention facility. oregonlive, "Portland-area boys ages 14, 15 and 16 arrested with pistols after gunshots on Seaside beach, police say," 11 Jan. 2021 Clark retired from Eastside in 1989 then worked as director of a juvenile detention center in Newark for six years. David Aaro, Fox News, "Joe Clark, no-nonsense NJ school principal who inspired movie ‘Lean on Me,’ dead at 82," 30 Dec. 2020 Another ugly stat: Black children in Louisiana are seven times more likely to land in juvenile detention than White kids. John Simerman, NOLA.com, "Bernette Johnson, Louisiana's first Black chief justice, leaves office speaking her mind," 26 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hambrick, 49, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile in the Oct. 17, 2017, killing of his 18-month-old daughter inside their North Rampart Street home. Matt Sledge, NOLA.com, "Bywater man who killed toddler is 'irrestorably' incompetent, judge agrees," 1 Feb. 2021 Because the victim was a juvenile at the time, few details are being released. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Alabama teacher charged in 1990s sexual assault of student placed on leave," 4 Jan. 2021 Officers reviewed the text messages and found no wrongdoing and no indication that the other person was a juvenile. cleveland, "Unknown Denny’s customers dine, dash and crash into employee: Highland Heights Police Blotter," 30 Dec. 2020 Police entered the juvenile as missing in their computer. cleveland, "Disoriented Door Dash driver dismays dweller," 11 Dec. 2020 Prosecutors allege Chauvin restrained the juvenile in the position past the point where the force was needed. CBS News, "Prosecutors in George Floyd case say ex-cop charged in his death had used excessive force before," 11 Sep. 2020 Mobile Fire-Rescue responded and transported the juvenile to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "1 dead, 1 wounded in Tuesday night Mobile shooting," 2 Sep. 2020 Brooks, who is from south Minneapolis, has a diverse resume that includes executive roles at nonprofits, a diversity coach, corporate consultant and a chaplain for Hennepin County juvenile courts. Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune, "Minneapolis-based venture-capital firm for founders of color aims to raise $50 million," 17 Jan. 2021 One man sentenced to life as a juvenile has been released, an office spokeswoman said. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "A growing group of prosecutors, who say the job is more than locking people up, wants to help free criminals, too," 7 Dec. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for juvenile

Time Traveler

The first known use of juvenile was in 1625

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Statistics for juvenile

Last Updated

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Juvenile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/juvenile. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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Comments on juvenile

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