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

In journalistic presentations of successful entrepreneurs, especially tech entrepreneurs, the authors note a strong impression of youth. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "The best age for entrepreneurship," 13 July 2018 They could be waved away as the harmless indulgences of an old man, acceptably enamored with the bloom of youth. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 Stimmel had been on a weeklong mission with a group of youths from his church to serve the children of an orphanage. Tod Leonard,, "From riots in Haiti to golf in San Diego: A teen's harrowing trip to play in Junior World," 10 July 2018 This is not a situation of marauding youth going on. Siobhán O'grady, Washington Post, "South Sudanese troops raped and killed hundreds in recent attacks, U.N. investigation finds," 10 July 2018 Roughly 30 percent of homeless youth in California identify as LGBTQ, according to the UCLA Williams Institute. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Drag shows, rainbows and acceptance at Sacramento’s 10th annual prom for LGBTQ youth," 5 July 2018 And, of course, the fountain of youth. What product in your domain is misunderstood and should be a best seller? Jane Larkworthy, The Cut, "Unilever’s Esi Eggleston Bracey Wants to Make Women Feel Good," 3 July 2018 Be a kid and splash in the fountain at Dilworth Park Harness your inner youth and let loose at Dilworth Park, where an expansive fountain shoots up rows of three-foot-high water spouts. Grace Dickinson,, "6 cool ways to get out of the heat this summer in Philadelphia," 3 July 2018 The actress, director, and star of ABC’s Black-ish grew up in Europe, spent her youth accompanying her mom, singer Diana Ross, on international jaunts, and racks up frequent flier miles monthly. Jane Sung, Condé Nast Traveler, "Tracee Ellis Ross on How Travel Is 'Empowering'," 2 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

17 Oct 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).


to teach someone the beliefs of a group

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