pre·teen | \ˈprē-ˈtēn, -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

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 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that all preteens and teens get a meningococcal vaccine, with the first vaccination coming at age 11 or 12, and a booster coming at 16 years old. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Baby dies from meningitis, parents issue warning," 12 July 2018 First Suburb by Chana Porter *World Premiere* November 16 – December 19, 2018 Five preteens teeter on the brink of adolescence when a shocking and violent act interrupts their insular world of personal struggles and triumphs. Wei-huan Chen, Houston Chronicle, "Catastrophic Theatre's 2018-19 season features Will Eno and Robert O'Hara," 27 June 2018 Here's how to kick the habit There are a handful of devices for those in-between years that aim to connect us with kids without pushing a preteen into adulthood with a smartphone. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "No more 'screenagers' — best ways to keep tabs on kids without giving them a smartphone," 13 June 2018 Even as Rick grew into a preteen, the consequences of his trauma appeared in the form of mood swings, irrationally angry reactions, and extremely low self-confidence. Erika Andersen, Good Housekeeping, "The Only Reason My Husband Survived Abuse and Poverty As a Child: His Faith in God," 26 June 2018 Teens and preteens ages 11 to 18 can earn tickets for a chance to win grand prizes for each book read, each activity completed and each program attended. Laura Groch,, "Turn up the volumes: Time for summer reading programs," 8 June 2018 From there, the preteen’s wildest organ dreams came true. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, "Dodgers Organist Dieter Ruehle Tells the Story Behind His Dream Job," 7 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

30 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for preteen

The first known use of preteen was in 1929

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More Definitions for preteen



English Language Learners Definition of preteen

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

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Comments on preteen

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a state of commotion or excitement

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