puberty

noun
pu·​ber·​ty | \ ˈpyü-bər-tē How to pronounce puberty (audio) \

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

He reached puberty later than most of his classmates.
Recent Examples on the Web But last spring Arkansas enacted a law, the first of its kind in the nation, barring physicians from administering hormones or puberty blockers to transgender people younger than 18. New York Times, 18 Jan. 2022 Only Arkansas passed a law completely banning access to gender-affirming health care, including puberty blockers and hormones, for trans minors; a judge blocked the law from taking effect in July pending the outcome of litigation. NBC News, 13 Jan. 2022 Over two dozen states also weighed legislation that would ban trans minors from accessing gender-affirming medical care such as hormones and puberty blockers. NBC News, 16 Dec. 2021 Bills at the state level have been introduced nationally to limit access to gender-affirming health care, including puberty blockers and gender affirmation surgeries for transgender youth. Tom Orsborn, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Dec. 2021 Rosky also suggested that demanding one year of hormone therapy is excessive, especially since these treatments can work more quickly for younger students who have already been in puberty blockers. Bethany Rodgers, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Nov. 2021 And research has found that access to gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers reduces the risk of suicide among trans youths. NBC News, 15 Sep. 2021 The report also found that LGBTQ youth were often moved from home to home and in some cases were denied gender-affirming medical treatment, such as puberty blockers and hormones. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Aug. 2021 That's because there's no scientific reason to think that a vaccine could affect a child's development to puberty or their future fertility, doctors have said repeatedly. Maggie Fox, CNN, 1 Nov. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of puberty

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for puberty

Middle English puberte, from Latin pubertas, from puber pubescent

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Time Traveler for puberty

Time Traveler

The first known use of puberty was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near puberty

pubertal

puberty

puberulent

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Statistics for puberty

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Puberty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puberty. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for puberty

puberty

noun

English Language Learners Definition of puberty

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

puberty

noun
pu·​ber·​ty | \ ˈpyü-bər-tē How to pronounce puberty (audio) \

Kids Definition of puberty

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

puberty

noun
pu·​ber·​ty | \ ˈpyü-bərt-ē How to pronounce puberty (audio) \
plural puberties

Medical Definition of puberty

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

More from Merriam-Webster on puberty

Nglish: Translation of puberty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of puberty for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about puberty

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