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

Moreover puberty is arriving earlier’ so therefore the age of consent should be lowered? Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Alan Dershowitz defends op-ed suggesting that age of consent for sex should be lowered," 30 July 2019 Viewers quickly took notice, too, celebrating just how good puberty had been to the once irritating character. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, ""Game of Thrones" Should Have Given the Iron Throne to Robin Arryn’s Glow-Up," 20 May 2019 The word alone — puberty — conjures the need to stockpile zit cream and blare grunge music. Washington Post, "How to talk to tweens about body odor (without making it awkward)," 25 July 2019 The media giant had deleted a video of a doctor warning about the dangers of giving children puberty blockers. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: Trolling of Shanann Watts’ family exposes the other dark web," 25 July 2019 Simba and Nala, having gone through lion puberty, are now adult lions. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Lion King remake isn’t a better movie, but it did a few things better than the original.," 17 July 2019 That September 1982 issue introduced me to the names and sensibility that would shape my humor—at least until puberty and Saturday Night Live. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "By Dying, MAD Gets Its Best Shot at a Second Life," 11 July 2019 And the Duffers’ take on female puberty is embarrassingly clumsy: Are El and Max really the kind of girls who’d pore over Tiger Beat and cheer themselves up with shopping sprees at The Gap? Judy Berman, Time, "Season 3 of Stranger Things Proves It Isn't Really a TV Show Anymore—It's a Franchise," 30 June 2019 Fourth-graders, for example, learn basic anatomy and puberty lessons. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Sex ed in Arizona: How does it work? What are schools allowed to teach?," 24 June 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near puberty

pub crawl

pube

pubertal

puberty

puberulent

puberulous

pubes

Statistics for puberty

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for puberty

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on puberty

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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