Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The stage of adolescence in which an individual becomes physiologically capable of sexual reproduction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the age at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The earliest age at which persons are capable of begetting or bearing children, usually considered, in temperate climates, to be about fourteen years in males and twelve in females.
  • n. The period when a plant first bears flowers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The condition of being able to reproduce; sexual maturity in the human race.
  • n. In botany, the period when a plant begins to bear flowers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the time of life when sex glands become functional

Etymologies

Middle English puberte, from Old French, from Latin pūbertās, from pūbēs, pūber-, adult.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French puberte, from Latin pubertas ("the age of maturity, manhood"), from pubes, puber ("grown up, of mature age, adult; of plants, downy, pubescent") (Wiktionary)

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