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

  • adj. Belonging to childhood; juvenile.
  • adj. Immature; childish. See Synonyms at young.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characteristic of, or pertaining to, a boy or boys; confer: puellile.
  • adj. Childish; trifling; silly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Boyish; childish; trifling; silly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to a boy or child; boyish; childish; juvenile.
  • Hence Merely childish; lacking intellectual force; trivial: as, a puerile criticism.
  • Synonyms Juvenile, Boyish, etc. (see youthful).
  • Weak, foolish, silly.

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

  • adj. of or characteristic of a child
  • adj. displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity


Latin puerīlis, from puer, child, boy; see pau-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin puerīlis ("childish"), from puer ("child, boy"). (Wiktionary)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Puer is the Latin word for boy.

    August 7, 2008