pre·​teen | \ ˈprē-ˈtēn How to pronounce preteen (audio) , -ˌtēn\

Definition of preteen

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a boy or girl not yet 13 years old



Definition of preteen (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : relating to or produced for children especially in the 9 to 12 year-old age group preteen fashions
2 : being younger than 13

Examples of preteen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of course, working around real preteens upped the verisimilitude. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "The Creators of PEN15 Present Their Hilarious, Oddly Harrowing New Show," 26 Feb. 2019 The stores keep shelving no higher than 5 feet, creating a comfortable space for preteens and teenagers. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Five Below, the Amazon-Proof Store," 2 Nov. 2018 Aretha joined her father’s Gospel Caravan, a traveling revival show, as a preteen. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "Aretha Franklin, America’s Queen of Soul, Has Died," 16 Aug. 2018 In a 2014 study by child development expert Yalda T. Uhls of Common Sense Media, preteens who spent just five days at a sleepaway nature camp without access to screens developed a greater understanding of real-world interpersonal communication cues. Terri Akman,, "Tech-free camps change kids' brains for the better. How have parents and kids adjusted?," 15 Mar. 2018 That's scarring enough for any preteen, but then cut to a few days later when all of her other pet kittens die. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House Is Basically a Scary This Is Us," 16 Oct. 2018 Starting a full-on non-profit didn’t seem at all out of the ordinary for the preteen. Macaela Mackenzie, Marie Claire, "When You're Sick, a Manicure Becomes a Link to Life Before the Hospital," 4 Sep. 2018 Many parents brought their children — babies, preteens, high-schoolers — with them to the protest. Morgan Watkins, USA TODAY, "All 120 county school districts close in Kentucky as teachers rally against bill that would hurt their pensions," 2 Apr. 2018 This preteen dance troupe will pas de bourrée for the last time. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "7 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

German filmmaker Viktor Jakovleski follows one family in particular, looking at the cottage industry, culture and festival through the eyes of their preteen son, Santiago. Lorraine Ali,, "Review: 'Brimstone & Glory' looks at a small town in Mexico where fireworks are made," 1 July 2018 The artist from Austin, Texas, has her first exhibition in L.A. at the Luis De Jesus gallery, and the collage and text works explore preteen awkwardness and the syncretic nature of black female identity. Sharon Mizota,, "Deborah Roberts' powerful statement of black female identity," 29 May 2018 When Joie Manda was 12 years old, Mongoose bicycles were all the rage among his preteen friends in Brooklyn -- for everyone but him. Gail Mitchell, Billboard, "Interscope EVP Joie Manda Makes a Case for Major Labels & Why It's the 'Strongest Time Ever for Female Rap'," 16 Feb. 2018 Go because Meg Murry is still the ultimate hero for an entire generation of preteen girls. Emma Krupp, RedEye Chicago, "Your winter movie preview: 30 reasons to go to a show," 10 Jan. 2018 The do-gooder shtick may explain his wide appeal to preteen boys and their parents alike. Dan Hyman, New York Times, "John Cena Grants a Wish Before His Wrestling Match," 5 Apr. 2018 Rin, the director’s preteen daughter, survives, vowing revenge on the men who killed her family. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Film / Foreign / On Video You probably missed Blade of the Immortal when it played here, but now you can catch it on DVD and BluRay," 9 Mar. 2018 Girls on the Run of Central Maryland Encourages preteen girls to develop healthy lifestyles and boost self-esteem through running. Howard County Times, "Howard County nonprofits directory," 1 Mar. 2018 God Bless my dad, who braved a snowstorm that night to take me, armed with my brand new Kodak 110 camera (and plenty of flash bulbs!) to sit in a crowd of screaming preteen girls that night. Chuck Yarborough,, "Concert T-shirts: A stitch in time for musical memories: Chuck Yarborough (photos)," 18 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'preteen.' 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 preteen


1938, in the meaning defined above


1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for preteen

Last Updated

29 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for preteen

The first known use of preteen was in 1929

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English Language Learners Definition of preteen

: a boy or girl who is 11 or 12 years old

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with preteen

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