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 The lawsuit further explains that surgeries are often unnecessary if a transgender person takes drugs that delay puberty before the physical changes associated with it can occur. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, "Parents of transgender kids sue over AZ law requiring surgery to change sex on birth certificate," 10 Nov. 2020 Also, Jack and Rebecca (Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore) brace for their three kids to reach puberty in this new episode. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘This Is Us’; ‘Rise of the Nazis’," 9 Nov. 2020 Among them is Lacey, a teenage girl whose mother abruptly abandons her assignment and vanishes just as Lacey enters puberty, becoming eligible to serve the preacher herself. oregonlive, "17 books to check out during the 2020 Portland Book Festival," 3 Nov. 2020 One issue is the use of puberty blocking medications. Gina Sequeira, STAT, "Laws to ban gender-affirming care could increase youth suicides, parents fear," 29 Oct. 2020 At puberty, male athletes generally gain physiological advantages for many sports, including a larger skeletal structure and greater muscle mass and strength. New York Times, "World Rugby Bars Transgender Women, Baffling Players," 26 Oct. 2020 But while puberty is celebrated, menopause is ignored. Dr. Jennifer Gunter, Glamour, "Are You There, God? It’s Me, Menopause," 19 Oct. 2020 The pandemic might have a silver lining for kids going through puberty in communities where nearly all schooling is virtual. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, September 29," 29 Sep. 2020 To most people, hormones are just those chemicals that make puberty a nightmare. Popsci Staff, Popular Science, "Pig sex and celery have a surprising connection," 30 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for puberty

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puberty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puberty. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for puberty

puberty

noun
How to pronounce puberty (audio)

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

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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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