noun, often attributive
\ ˈyüth How to pronounce youth (audio) \
plural youths\ ˈyüt͟hz How to pronounce youths (audio) , ˈyüths How to pronounce youths (audio) \

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


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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 Her daughter, Valerie Simmons, remembers her mother as always active in her community, whether taking on leadership roles at her children’s schools in their youth or being the voice for senior citizens at town halls. oregonlive, "Alberta Simmons, senior citizen activist and eastside Portland housing advocate, dies at age 87," 11 July 2020 People have glimpsed monsters in the media since the beginning, but what distinguishes so many of the modern manifestations is their relative youth. Jason Kehe, Wired, "The Media Monsters in the National Dialog," 8 July 2020 Born in Bermuda in 1917, Cameron served in the British Merchant Navy in his youth and settled in London. Tyler Aquilina,, "Boundary-breaking actor Earl Cameron dies at 102," 4 July 2020 Such paradoxical feelings attached to the simple fact of mobility took me back in a rush to the 1970s New York of my youth. Elizabeth Kendall, New York Times, "New York City’s Gift of Motion: A 1970s Tale," 1 July 2020 Sam’s naivete seems entirely appropriate to her youth, and Elisabeth’s inability to see what’s happening may be a symptom of her loneliness. Washington Post, "In ‘Friends and Strangers,’ a new mom insists the babysitter is her buddy. She’s not.," 30 June 2020 Baseball not only develops the physical skills of our youth, but develops a person with a knowledge of fair play while always stressing a desire to win. Scottie Andrew And Jillian Martin, CNN, "MLB's Ian Desmond, in a powerful post about racism and social injustice, opts out of the 2020 season," 30 June 2020 Good Trouble traces Lewis’ story from his youth in the rural South, to his key role in the Civil Rights movement, to his long career in the U.S. House of Representatives. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "John Lewis: Good Trouble Is a Stirring, Joyous Documentary About a Tireless Freedom Fighter," 30 June 2020 The bohemian disorder of her youth had become an ugly jumble. Hari Kunzru, The New Yorker, "A Transparent Woman," 29 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for youth

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for youth

Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Youth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce youth (audio)

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 How to pronounce youth (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for youth

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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