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


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

No one expected the Netherlands to win this match up, but the Dutch actually held on for over an hour, before experience (in the form of Megan Rapinoe) and youth (Rose Lavelle) scored two US goals within eight minutes and put things out of reach. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for July 8: Women's World Cup, Iran, California earthquakes," 8 July 2019 However, many early concerns about the internet were rooted in fear alone and were informed by longstanding assumptions about youth and their ability to make rational decisions. Kate Eichhorn, WIRED, "Social Media Could Make It Impossible to Grow Up," 8 July 2019 The target audience is youth and high school football players in those specific areas, but Marver noted some high school programs are considering the ULTIM Cap for non-helmeted, in-season practices. Tim Booth,, "Check out the latest breakthroughs in football helmets," 3 July 2019 Almond’s list of extracurricular activities includes coaching youth sports and participating in Leaders Through Education Action and Hope. Ethan Coyle,, "All-Scholastics - Scholar-Athletes winners," 2 July 2019 Prince William was speaking with a group of people at Albert Kennedy Trust (AKT) this morning, an organization that supports homeless LGBTQ youth, when the conversation became personal. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Says It Would "Absolutely Fine by Me" If George, Charlotte, or Louis Were LGBTQ," 26 June 2019 Professional and casual gamers alike are welcome, as are youth, high school, collegiate and professional teams. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "10,000-square foot video game center to open in Auburn Hills on Friday," 26 June 2019 It’s is used in youth, college, club and professional competition. Bob Sansevere, Twin Cities, "Bob Sansevere: American Ultimate Disc League is more than just playing Frisbee," 25 June 2019 Jerome played youth sports with Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell while the two grew up in the New York/Connecticut area. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns: Five things to know about Ty Jerome," 21 June 2019

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

11 Jul 2019

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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 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

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).


characterized by aphorism

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