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 Skateboarding is new to the Olympics this year – and even a preteen competitor has medaled. Pamela Falk, CBS News, 5 Aug. 2021 Vardar’s academy attracted the most talented prospects in Macedonia, and the competition for places — even for preteen boys — was fierce. New York Times, 19 July 2021 That is the show’s soundtrack, drawn from mix tapes that Gamma made as a preteen in the 1990s after his family moved from Monterey, Calif., to Morgan City, La. Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2021 The preteen smiled as the wildlife enthusiast draped the writhing, 10-foot snake around her shoulders. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 20 June 2021 Podcast with Amy Jo Martin where the preteen dished on the one lesson her dad has to learn over and over. Alexia Fernández,, 16 June 2021 Like Evans, Cummings began dominating his age group as a preteen. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 July 2021 As a preteen Bassett wore a cosmetic cover over her everyday prosthetic. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, 20 July 2021 The bones belong to an adult male, a preteen and an infant, according to the DNR. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 29 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Playing and watching team sports were the twin pillars of his preteen existence, and both pursuits were snatched away from him a matter of days. Brendan I. Koerner, Wired, 19 May 2020 The incident drew national attention, in part because Block involved his preteen daughter in the ugly episode. Washington Post, 19 Dec. 2019 Eighteen of them, including five preteen children, died in Putnam County, some 80 miles east of Nashville. USA TODAY, 6 Mar. 2020 An apparent domestic situation at a house in the 2700 block of Oakland Avenue South left two adults and two preteen children dead, according to John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police Department. Kristi Belcamino, Twin Cities, 1 Dec. 2019 Shapiro said agents from his office discovered Sullivan’s penchant for viewing images of preteen children during an investigation on a file sharing network. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, 6 Nov. 2019 Her family paid a smuggler to get her and her preteen daughter from Honduras to Mexico. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, 12 Feb. 2020 In 2014, two preteen girls lured a classmate into the woods on the pretense of everyday fun, and killed her. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 3 Feb. 2020 The hit 1970s comedy starred Lavin as a widowed mother and aspiring actress working as a waitress in Phoenix while raising her preteen son, played by Philip. Jodi Guglielmi,, 11 Dec. 2019

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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The first known use of preteen was in 1929

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Last Updated

1 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Preteen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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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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