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

After long weeks of watching the show and pondering its dubious joys, only one explanation for Friends’ endurance accounts for both its cultural conservatism and its sparkling, juvenile humor. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Mysteriously Enduring Appeal of Friends," 10 Sep. 2019 One key question was whether Wade would have been found suitable for juvenile prosecution at the time of the case. Gary Klien, The Mercury News, "Prop. 57: Marin judge denies Max Wade’s bid for juvenile do-over," 7 Sep. 2019 Both parties were advised to avoid contact with one another unless the matter involved their juvenile children. Hank Beckman, chicagotribune.com, "La Grange police blotter: cash withdrawn from resident’s bank account," 7 Sep. 2019 She was referred to the juvenile diversion officer. cleveland.com, "Man finds Hitler at his front door: Mayfield Heights Police Blotter," 6 Sep. 2019 Rugani had been on suicide watch for two days after his June arrest but was part of the general juvenile population for the two months since, the Sheriff’s Office said. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, "Teen found hanging in Broward jail cell dies," 5 Sep. 2019 The boy is being held at a juvenile detention facility. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "14-year-old boy who confessed to killing 5 family members charged with murder, police say," 3 Sep. 2019 Scaggs previously faced five felony charges, including three alleged assaults against juvenile correctional officers on Oct. 8, Jan. 11 and Feb. 17, according to Jefferson County District Court records. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Teen accused of escaping Golden juvenile detention facility, stealing vehicle charged with felonies," 3 Sep. 2019 Godard addressed dystopia as a matter of ethics, faith, and love (spiritual and romantic), but the Wachowskis are stuck in juvenile excitement and intellectual confusion. Armond White, National Review, "Is The Matrix the Conservative’s Star Wars?," 30 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2017, the Florida House and Senate passed resolutions formally apologizing for the abuse of juveniles sent to Dozier and a related facility in Okeechobee. Jim Turner, orlandosentinel.com, "Search for bodies isn’t over at Florida’s infamous Dozier School for Boys," 27 Aug. 2019 One of the juveniles reported that Thomas had gone underwater and not come back up. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "14-year-old boy dies after being recovered from pool in Bel Air, officials say," 1 Aug. 2019 Overall, 96 percent of juveniles reported trying some kind of substance. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Drug use among juvenile arrestees reaches highest rate since 2000," 30 July 2019 One of the juveniles then drove the pickup to Fifth Avenue and Juneau Street, where Anchorage police officers stopped the vehicle, according to the witness. Jeff Parrott, Anchorage Daily News, "Man arrested in hit-and-run that killed woman in front of Brother Francis Shelter, Anchorage police say," 27 July 2019 The highest number of juveniles recovered from the stings occurred the same year, when 169 were rescued. Andrew Keiper, Fox News, "FBI re-evaluates human trafficking sting operation," 26 July 2019 Juvenile complaint: Brimfield Drive Police investigated a call of juveniles knocking over trash cans at 1:24 a.m. July 26. Brian Lisik, cleveland.com, "Police question man found in park after hours: Medina Police Blotter," 26 July 2019 Work to curb teen violence is 'never-ending' Cameron is one of 21 juveniles who have been shot this year. Cameron Knight, Cincinnati.com, "As more police hit the street, mother of slain 14-year-old says, 'I just want peace'," 11 July 2019 None of the juveniles or first responders were injured, police said. Alyssa Lukpat, BostonGlobe.com, "5 juveniles rescued from Plymouth pond after leaving youth facility," 5 July 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

13 Sep 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

Comments on juvenile

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