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

  • adj. Reaching or having reached puberty.
  • adj. Covered with short hairs or soft down.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Arriving, or arrived at, puberty.
  • adj. Covered with down or fine hairs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Arrived at puberty.
  • adj. Covered with pubescence, or fine short hairs, as certain insects, and the leaves of some plants.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Arriving at puberty.
  • Covered with pubescence, or fine short hair; downy.
  • In botany, covered or sprinkled with down or hairs: a general term, including villous, hirsute, strigose, lanate, etc., but when used alone in specific description denoting a soft or downy and short pubescence.

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

  • adj. covered with fine soft hairs or down
  • adj. (of animals especially human beings) having arrived at the onset of puberty (the age at which sex glands become functional) but not yet fully mature


Latin pūbēscēns, pūbēscent-, present participle of pūbēscere, to reach puberty, from pūbēs, adult.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pubescens ("to become hairy, downy, or an adult") (Wiktionary)


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