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 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 Sanchez, a native of Brownsville, founded Southwest Key in 1987 with a focus on juvenile justice programs. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the US is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children," 14 June 2018 Sanchez, a native of Brownsville, founded Southwest Key in 1987 with a focus on juvenile justice programs. Michael E. Miller, Emma Brown And Aaron C. Davis, Houston Chronicle, "Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the US is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children," 14 June 2018 The new entity, the Probation Oversight Commission, will have dedicated staff, its own budget and oversight of both juvenile and adult services. Nina Agrawal, latimes.com, "County leaders approve new watchdog for Probation Department," 2 May 2018 Morris criticized the state's restitution law for removing any discretion from a judge, particularly in a juvenile case. Maxine Bernstein, OregonLive.com, "Judge to issue written ruling on restitution for teen who ignited Eagle Creek fire," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Law enforcement has remained tightlipped on the shooting since Tay-K is listed as a juvenile in the Bexar County system. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Tay-K Reportedly Named as Gunman in Wrongful Death Lawsuit," 27 June 2018 Reeves initially was charged as a juvenile in the case. Becky Jacobs, Post-Tribune, "Defense mulling plea offer in case of Gary girl, 16, charged with mother's murder," 20 June 2018 As a juvenile, she's not given an option to bond out. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Dozens celebrate Juneteenth in KCK, call for criminal justice reform," 19 June 2018 Police officials confirmed on Friday the student was charged as a juvenile with possession of a dangerous weapon, but could not speak to what that could mean if convicted because of the different ways juvenile offenders are processed in the county. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Fight involving pepper spray breaks out inside Woodlawn High School; 2 students arrested," 12 June 2018 Mathews said the last contact police had with him was in 2003, when he was arrested as a 13-year-old juvenile for assault and battery. Elizabeth Chuck /, NBC News, "Gunman opens fire in Oklahoma City restaurant — is shot dead by bystanders," 25 May 2018 The argument behind the curse is that a young horse needs to develop a foundation with racing experience as a juvenile before taking on the rigors of the Triple Crown. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "‘Bob Baffert has the horse to beat.’ Can Justify overcome a 136-year-old Derby curse? | The Sacramento Bee," 4 May 2018 Police aren’t releasing the students’ ages or grades to protect their privacy as juveniles. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "2 elementary school students shared Snapchat photos - and face child porn charges, cops say | Miami Herald," 20 Apr. 2018 Three Springs is a medium-risk secure facility that treats boys, ages 12-18, with poor behavior and those who have been convicted of crimes as juveniles. Ashley Remkus, AL.com, "Former troubled youth counselor indicted on student sex charges," 16 Apr. 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

7 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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