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 excavations continued through 2016, and resulted in the discovery of more than 140 sets of child remains and 200 juvenile llamas, according to National Geographic. Marwa Eltagouri, ajc, "Remains of 140 children found in Peru, pointing to world's largest ancient child sacrifice," 28 Apr. 2018 The excavations continued through 2016, and resulted in the discovery of more than 140 sets of child remains and 200 juvenile llamas, according to National Geographic. Marwa Eltagouri, chicagotribune.com, "Remains of 140 children found in Peru, pointing to world's largest ancient child sacrifice," 27 Apr. 2018 The excavations continued through 2016, and resulted in the discovery of more than 140 sets of child remains and 200 juvenile llamas, according to National Geographic. The Washington Post, AL.com, "Bodies of 140 children found in Peru, possibly world's largest child sacrifice site," 27 Apr. 2018 In the early 1930s, his crime was decidedly juvenile. Alexis Coe, Town & Country, "Portrait of a Troublemaker: A Rare Glimpse of John F. Kennedy's Life at Boarding School," 26 May 2017 The commission did, however, unanimously pass four resolutions to make juvenile pre-arrest diversion programs consistent throughout the state. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Broward's PROMISE program "irrelevant" to Nikolas Cruz's massacre, commission says," 10 July 2018 Tara Huffman, 44, is a program director at the Open Society Institute, focusing on criminal and juvenile justice. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, "Candidates running for a seat on Baltimore County's first elected school board," 24 June 2018 The Project Safe Neighborhoods juvenile re-entry program is aimed toward people 17 years or older who are on probation and have a history of being involved with guns, the mayor's office said. Faith Pinho, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett aims to get youth away from guns and into jobs," 19 June 2018 Sanchez, a native of Brownsville, founded Southwest Key in 1987 with a focus on juvenile justice programs. Michael Miller, Emma Brown And Aaron C. Davis, star-telegram, "Inside a former Walmart on the Texas-Mexico border that holds nearly 1,500 immigrant boys," 16 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Five juveniles took a case of beer and ran out of the store. Washington Post, "Fairfax County crime report," 20 June 2019 Five people have been charged in her death: Brehmer, 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh, 19-year-old Caleb Leyland and two unnamed juveniles are charged in Hoffman’s death. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "New federal child pornography charges against defendants in Anchorage teen’s murder," 19 June 2019 All five juveniles in the Jeep were taken into custody and later released to their parents. cleveland.com, "Youths nabbed for exploding firework in mailbox: University Heights police blotter," 18 June 2019 Four juveniles ages 15 to 17 suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, primarily in their legs, Ross said. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "Man killed, seven other people shot at Philadelphia graduation party," 17 June 2019 So were 19-year-old Caleb Leyland, who allegedly lent Brehmer and McIntosh his car in exchange for a promised $500,000, and two juveniles whose names have not been released. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "He said he would pay $9 million for a murder. So five friends plotted to kill a teenager, police say.," 17 June 2019 The student, a juvenile, was transported to an area hospital as a precaution, Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan said. BostonGlobe.com, "POLICE BLOTTER," 13 June 2019 Police investigators said officers should use the least amount of force necessary when dealing with juveniles. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "CPD cop who shot preteen with stun gun at Kroger wins appeal; suspension is reversed," 11 June 2019 Caleb Leyland, 19, and two juveniles have been charged in connection with the June 2 death of 19-year-old Cynthia Hoffman, The Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday. Fox News, "Alaska police charge 3 additional people in woman's killing," 10 June 2019

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

21 Jun 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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