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 & Antonyms for youth


bambino, bud, chick, child, cub, juvenile, kid, kiddie (also kiddy), kiddo, moppet, squirt, whelp, youngling, youngster


adult, grown-up

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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

Nearly 360 youth and adult volunteers have repaired 54 homes like Santucci’s for free throughout Wallingford and neighboring communities this week. Alison Kuznitz,, "A Wallingford Mission Trip Brings Together 360 Youth Volunteers To Repair Homes, Communities," 13 July 2018 By the early ‘00s, hip-hop had become the center of youth culture in popular music, with rappers like OutKast, 50 Cent and Nelly becoming some of the best-selling stars in the industry. Stereo Williams, Billboard, "Drake's 2018 Has Been Huge. But Is He the Biggest Rapper Ever?," 13 July 2018 The 10-bed home, located at a confidential site to shield its residents, has no vacancies now, less than six months after opening, said Tracy Salem, manager of the county’s youth and family services division, which oversees the program. Stephen Hudak,, "Orange County's crisis shelter for human-trafficking victims is full — and that may be a good thing," 12 July 2018 John was a very active youth with a love for the water., "John Riccio," 14 July 2018 Bacca instead spent a hard-scrabble youth juggling his love for soccer with odd jobs. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "The Elusive Underdog Magic of the World Cup," 14 July 2018 For the first time this year, the California State Fair is hosting a youth mariachi competition. Adesuwa Agbonile, sacbee, "5 Cal State Fair musical acts you don’t want to miss this year," 13 July 2018 In South Africa, however, there are those, like Julius Malema, expelled as head of the ANC youth wing for being too militant, who have gone into opposition. Peter Godwin, WSJ, "Mandela’s Troubled Legacy," 13 July 2018 The organizations originally concentrated on housing and detaining at-risk youth, but shifted their focus to immigrants when tens of thousands of Central American children started arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years. Washington Post, "Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry," 13 July 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

5 Sep 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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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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