puerile

play
adjective pu·er·ile \ ˈpyu̇(-ə)r-əl , -ˌī(-ə)l \

Definition of puerile

2 :childish, silly
  • puerile remarks

puerilely

play \-ə(l)-lē, -ˌī(-ə)l-lē\ adverb

puerility

play \ˌpyu̇(-ə)r-ˈi-lə-tē\ noun

puerile was our Word of the Day on 04/01/2010. Hear the podcast!

Examples of puerile in a Sentence

  1. told the teenagers that such puerile behavior would not be tolerated during the ceremony

  2. allowed the company to be taken over by a bunch of puerile whippersnappers fresh out of business school

Recent Examples of puerile from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Puerile may call to mind qualities of youth and immaturity, but the term itself is no spring chicken. On the contrary, it's been around for more than three centuries, and its predecessors in French and Latin, the adjectives puéril and puerilis, respectively, are far older. Those two terms have the same basic meaning as the English word puerile, and they both trace to the Latin noun puer, meaning "boy" or "child." Nowadays, puerile can describe the acts or utterances of an actual child, but it more often refers (usually with marked disapproval) to occurrences of childishness where adult maturity would be expected or preferred.

Origin and Etymology of puerile

French or Latin; French puéril, from Latin puerilis, from puer boy, child; akin to Sanskrit putra son, child and perhaps to Greek pais boy, child — more at few


PUERILE Defined for English Language Learners

puerile

play
adjective

Definition of puerile for English Language Learners

  • : silly or childish especially in a way that shows a lack of seriousness or good judgment


Medical Dictionary

puerile

play
adjective pu·er·ile \ ˈpyu̇(-ə)r-əl, -ˌīl \

medical Definition of puerile

1 :marked by or suggesting childishness and immaturity
2 :being respiration that is like that of a child in being louder than normal
  • puerile breathing


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