noun, often attributive
\ˈyüth \
plural youths\ˈyüt͟hz, ˈyüths \

Definition of youth 

1a : the time of life when one is young especially : the period between childhood and maturity

b : the early period of existence, growth, or development

2a : a young person especially : a young male between adolescence and maturity

b : young persons or creatures usually plural in construction

3 : the quality or state of being youthful : youthfulness

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Synonyms for youth


boy, boychick (or boychik), boyo [Irish], callant [chiefly Scottish], lad, laddie, nipper, shaveling, shaver, sonny, stripling, tad

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Examples of youth in a Sentence

She had a troubled youth. He spent his youth in the Midwest. He got into a lot of trouble in his youth. a generation trying to recapture lost youth when the industry was still in its youth Four youths are suspected of starting the fire.
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Recent Examples on the Web

There are growing concerns about players—from youth football to the NFL—suffering serious brain injuries. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, "XFL Games Coming to New Jersey in 2020," 5 Dec. 2018 About: This org promotes youth participation in sports by providing new footwear, apparel, and fitness equipment to kids in need. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "10 Ways to Use Your Love of Fitness to Do Good on Giving Tuesday or Any Day," 27 Nov. 2018 Now, though, legislators have disagreed over whether certain sectors, like farmworkers and youth workers, should be carved out — and how quickly the sizable increase from $8.85 (as of the new year) to $15 should be phased in. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Democrats won 6 more state governments. New Jersey shows what they can do.," 21 Nov. 2018 The ban, which is expected to be announced next week, is a step toward fighting what the FDA calls an epidemic of youth vaping. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "What a ban on e-cigarette flavors could mean for Big Tobacco," 9 Nov. 2018 His exploitation of players, their friends and other youth athletes continued until early 2018. Fox News, "Victims of Iowa coach can still come forward, agent says," 23 Oct. 2018 Today, the the Sussexes will partake in a series of events in Sydney surrounding issues that are important to them, including mental health support and youth outreach. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears The Perfect Vacation Dress at Bondi Beach," 18 Oct. 2018 While these five gifts alone total nearly $9 million, at least 5 percent of money spent will go to charities like the Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation, which supports youth art education. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Neiman Marcus Fantasy Gifts for the Try-Anything Traveler," 18 Oct. 2018 The agency’s main goal is to block products that specifically entice youth to try addictive nicotine-containing products. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "E-cig co. put Viagra, Cialis in vape liquids—the FDA is throbbing mad," 12 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'youth.' 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 youth

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for youth

Middle English youthe, from Old English geoguth; akin to Old English geong young — more at young

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Statistics for youth

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for youth

The first known use of youth was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for youth



English Language Learners Definition of youth

: the time of life when someone is young : the time when a young person has not yet become an adult

: the time when something is new and not yet established

: a teenage boy or young man


\ˈyüth \
plural youths\ˈyüt͟hz, ˈyüths \

Kids Definition of youth

1 : the time of life between being a child and an adult He spent his youth in Europe.

2 : a young man an imaginative youth

3 : young people the youth of today

4 : the quality or state of being young Her youth proved to be an advantage.

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More from Merriam-Webster on youth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with youth

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for youth

Spanish Central: Translation of youth

Nglish: Translation of youth for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of youth for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about youth

Comments on youth

What made you want to look up youth? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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