puberty

noun pu·ber·ty \ ˈpyü-bər-tē \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of puberty

1 :the condition of being or the period of becoming first capable of reproducing sexually that is brought on by the production of sex hormones and the maturing of the reproductive organs (such as the testes and ovaries), development of secondary sex characteristics (such as male facial hair growth and female breast development), and in humans and the higher primates by the first occurrence of menstruation in the female
2 :the age at which puberty occurs often construed legally as 14 in boys and 12 in girls

Examples of puberty in a Sentence

  1. He reached puberty later than most of his classmates.

Recent Examples of puberty from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of puberty

Middle English puberte, from Latin pubertas, from puber pubescent

Other Physiology Terms


PUBERTY Defined for English Language Learners

puberty

noun

Definition of puberty for English Language Learners

  • : the period of life when a person's sexual organs mature and he or she becomes able to have children


PUBERTY Defined for Kids

puberty

noun pu·ber·ty \ ˈpyü-bər-tē \

Definition of puberty for Students

:the age at or period during which the body of a boy or girl matures and becomes capable of reproducing

Medical Dictionary

puberty

noun pu·ber·ty \ ˈpyü-bərt-ē \

medical Definition of puberty

plural puberties
1 :the condition of being or the period of becoming first capable of reproducing sexually marked by maturing of the genital organs, development of secondary sex characteristics, and in humans and the higher primates by the first occurrence of menstruation in the female
2 :the age at which puberty occurs being typically between 13 and 16 years in boys and 11 and 14 in girls and often construed legally as 14 in boys and 12 in girls


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