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

  • adj. Not fully grown or developed; young.
  • adj. Of, relating to, characteristic of, intended for, or appropriate for children or young people: juvenile fashions.
  • adj. Marked by immaturity; childish: juvenile behavior. See Synonyms at young.
  • n. A young person; a child.
  • n. A young animal that has not reached sexual maturity.
  • n. An actor who plays roles of children or young persons.
  • n. A children's book.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. young; not fully developed
  • adj. characteristic of youth or immaturity; childish
  • n. a prepubescent child
  • n. a person not legally of age, or who is younger than may be charged with an offence
  • n. an animal that is not sexually mature
  • n. an actor playing a child's role

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Young; youthful.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to youth.
  • adj. Characteristic of children; immature; childish; puerile; infantile.
  • n. A young person or youth; -- used sportively or familiarly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Young; youthful: as, a juvenile manner; a juvenile part in a play.
  • Pertaining or suited to youth: as, juvenile sports or books.
  • Synonyms Boyish, Puerile, etc. See youthful.
  • n. A young person; a youth.
  • n. A book written for young persons or children.
  • n. Theat., an actor who plays youthful parts:

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

  • n. a young person, not fully developed
  • adj. displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity
  • adj. of or relating to or characteristic of or appropriate for children or young people


Latin iuvenīlis, from iuvenis, young; see yeu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin iuvenilis, from iuvenis ("young") (Wiktionary)



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  • Giovanile, in Italian, is used to describe a person that looks younger than he/she really is. It usually has the opposite effect: remarking the actual age of the person.

    March 28, 2009