Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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.
  • noun (Bot.) The period when a plant first bears flowers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun the time of life when sex glands become functional

Etymologies

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

[Middle English puberte, from Old French, from Latin pūbertās, from pūbēs, pūber-, adult.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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")

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