men·​ar·​che | \ ˈme-ˌnär-kē How to pronounce menarche (audio) \

Definition of menarche

: the beginning of the menstrual function especially : the first menstrual period of an individual

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from menarche

menarcheal \ ˌme-​när-​ˈkē-​əl How to pronounce menarcheal (audio) \ adjective

Examples of menarche in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Any circumstances that led to earlier menarche would decrease the relative size of females incidentally, without any change to mating system or male-male competition level or, indeed, any rationale for the size change at all. Quanta Magazine, "Males Are the Taller Sex. Estrogen, Not Fights for Mates, May Be Why.," 8 June 2020 For most of human history, women were either pregnant or lactating almost constantly from menarche to menopause, so their immune systems were always hanging in that careful balance. Viviane Callier,, "How gender makes a difference in disease," 30 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'menarche.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of menarche

circa 1900, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for menarche

New Latin, from men- + Greek archē beginning

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about menarche

Time Traveler for menarche

Time Traveler

The first known use of menarche was circa 1900

See more words from the same year

Statistics for menarche

Cite this Entry

“Menarche.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for menarche


men·​ar·​che | \ ˈmen-ˌär-kē How to pronounce menarche (audio) \

Medical Definition of menarche

: the beginning of the menstrual function especially : the first menstrual period of an individual

Other Words from menarche

menarcheal \ ˌmen-​ˈär-​kē-​əl How to pronounce menarcheal (audio) \ or menarchal \ men-​ˈär-​kəl How to pronounce menarchal (audio) \ also menarchial \ men-​ˈär-​kē-​əl How to pronounce menarchial (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on menarche Encyclopedia article about menarche

Comments on menarche

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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