puerile

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

Definition of puerile 

1 : juvenile

2 : childish, silly puerile remarks

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Other words from puerile

puerilely \ˈpyu̇(-ə)r-ə(l)-lē, -ˌī(-ə)l-lē \ adverb
puerility \ˌpyu̇(-ə)r-ˈi-lə-tē \ noun

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.

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

Recent Examples on the Web

But no public figure would go further than that, given the genre’s reputation for being puerile and pulpy. Craig Fehrman, New York Times, "The Mystery Buffs in the White House," 23 May 2018 Her job here is to eye-roll at the puerile antics and then to cue the audience’s warm, fuzzy feeling about these allegedly lovable lunkheads. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Tag' review: Don't these guys have anything else to do?," 14 June 2018 Platter's line is thick and insistent but wasted on empty scrawls, unremarkable shapes and puerile phrases. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "Marvelous or maddening? In Cameron Platter's show, it depends on which way you face," 4 June 2018 The official rationale for the House GOP plan is not, of course, to help the president realize a puerile dream. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "House Republicans Working to Give Trump His Military Parade," 4 May 2018 The search engine on the firm’s website started offering customers puerile responses to their inquiries. The Economist, "A startup in Paris is scaling up unusually fast," 3 May 2018 This, amid another example of the puerile behavior that too many Flyers fans are too happy to exhibit. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "Sidney Crosby once again leaves the Flyers and their fans all wet | Mike Sielski," 16 Apr. 2018 Practiced puerile partisanship that would embarrass a teenager? Jim Braude, BostonGlobe.com, "Let 16-year-olds vote. They might take it more seriously than their elders," 14 Mar. 2018 Trump’s tweet Tuesday was highly unusual for its open reference to the vast U.S. nuclear arsenal at Trump’s disposal and its playground allusion — critics said puerile — to the size and power of Trump’s warfighting abilities. Washington Post, "White House dismisses criticism of Trump’s North Korea ‘Nuclear Button’ tweet," 3 Jan. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of puerile

1527, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Dictionary Entries near puerile

Pueraria

puerer

puericulture

puerile

puerilism

puerpera

puerperal

Statistics for puerile

Last Updated

8 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puerile

The first known use of puerile was in 1527

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More Definitions for puerile

puerile

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of puerile

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

puerile

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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Comments on puerile

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