Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A puerile character or condition; boyishness; childishness.
  • noun The time of childhood; specifically, in civil law, the period of life from the age of seven years to that of fourteen.
  • noun That which is puerile; what is characteristic of or done in boyhood; hence, a childish or silly act, thought, or expression.

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

  • noun The quality of being puerile; childishness; puerileness.
  • noun That which is puerile or childish; especially, an expression which is flat, insipid, or silly.

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

  • noun the state, quality, or condition of being childish or puerile
  • noun that which is puerile or childish; especially, an expression which is flat, insipid, or silly

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

  • noun the state of a child between infancy and adolescence
  • noun a property characteristic of a child

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin puerīlitās, from puerīlis ("childish, juvenile"), from puer ("boy").

Examples

  • Even in masses of what men have called his puerility there are often germs of immense worth, -- taking years, perhaps, to show life, but sure to be alive at last.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862

  • They are in some respects notably tame and puerile, -- with a puerility which is not childish simplicity, but a lack of inventive fancy, and which exhibits itself in bald repetition.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 04, No. 23, September, 1859

  • As it was, the introduction of such evidence was an insult to their intelligence, and she had sufficient faith in their manhood and perspicacity to know that such puerility would not sway them in the verdict they were to give.

    CHAPTER 28

  • It was a sterile mockery, a wholly inadequate stretch into puerility.

    Truffle Socks

  • She was stung by his words into realization of the puerility of her act, and yet she felt that he had magnified it unduly and was consequently resentful.

    Chapter 45

  • While tumidity desires to transcend the limits of the sublime, the defect which is termed puerility is the direct antithesis of elevation, for it is utterly low and mean and in real truth the most ignoble vice of style.

    Archive 2010-03-01

  • So while America understandably reels from the screeching puerility that has gripped our capital, we got to get a grip.

    Fernando Espuelas: Latinos Must Help Unify America - by Voting in 2012

  • It was a sterile mockery, a wholly inadequate stretch into puerility.

    Truffle Socks

  • So while America understandably reels from the screeching puerility that has gripped our capital, we got to get a grip.

    Fernando Espuelas: Latinos Must Help Unify America - by Voting in 2012

  • No, to avoid the slur of puerility, those concerned must put away childish things including utterly banal "talent contests" that appeal to the lowest common denominator in the viewers and readers.

    Letters: Geordies, banality and the truth about Cheryl

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