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.
Examples of puerile in a Sentence
told the teenagers that such puerile behavior would not be tolerated during the ceremony
allowed the company to be taken over by a bunch of puerile whippersnappers fresh out of business school
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.