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

  • n. The condition or quality of being young.
  • n. An early period of development or existence: a nation in its youth.
  • n. The time of life between childhood and maturity.
  • n. A young person, especially a young male in late adolescence.
  • n. Young people considered as a group.
  • n. Geology The first stage in the erosion cycle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality or state of being young.
  • n. The part of life following childhood; the period of existence preceding maturity or age; the whole early part of life, from childhood, or, sometimes, from infancy, to manhood.
  • n. A young person
  • n. A young man
  • n. (used in plural form) Young persons, collectively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being young; youthfulness; juvenility.
  • n. The part of life that succeeds to childhood; the period of existence preceding maturity or age; the whole early part of life, from childhood, or, sometimes, from infancy, to manhood.
  • n. A young person; especially, a young man.
  • n. Young persons, collectively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The condition of being young; youthfulness; youngness; juvenility.
  • n. The age from puberty up to the attainment of full growth.
  • n. A young person; especially, a young man. In this sense it has a plural.
  • n. Young persons collectively.
  • n. Recentness; freshness; brief date.

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

  • n. the time of life between childhood and maturity
  • n. a young person (especially a young man or boy)
  • n. an early period of development
  • n. the freshness and vitality characteristic of a young person
  • n. young people collectively
  • n. early maturity; the state of being young or immature or inexperienced


Middle English youthe, from Old English geoguth; see yeu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English ġeoguþ, from West Germanic *juwunþ-, from a Germanic base corresponding to young + -th. Cognate with Dutch jeugd, German Jugend. (Wiktionary)


  • So instead of "The nature of youth is thoughtless and sanguine, and therefore &c.," we can write, "The danger of the voyage was depreciated and the beauty of the island exaggerated by _the thoughtless nature of youth_."

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  • "In the beginning," said the Nurse, dreamily, "the men in their uniforms, the drums and horses and glitter, and the flags passing, and youth -- _youth_ -- not that you and I are yet old in years; do you know what I mean?"

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  • In her own mind she set down Nathanael Harper as "a very odd sort of youth" -- (_a youth_ she still persisted in calling him) -- and turned again to his brother.

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  • II. iii.11 (49,1) [Who falling in the flaws of her own youth, Hath blister'd her report] Who doth not see that the integrity of the metaphor requires we should read, -- _flames of her own youth_?

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  • When the youth group interrupted the webcast to deliver the message that real Americans want clean energy and a fair climate treaty, Monckton went ballistic, calling the students \ "crazed Hitler youth\" and \ "Nazis.

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  • "So irrepressible in youth is the thrust to become," one specialist has warned, "that it will surface somehow, if not in constructive self-expression, then in wilful vandalism or defiant apathy or even suicide as an ultimate, tragic expression of self-determination."

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  • Although not an exact definition, in a legal context the term youth typically implies that the person is under the age of 18 and may have some avenue to escape being tried as an adult.

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  • Then, trying to prove he was old, he sang a tune that goes How do I know my youth is all spent?

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  • The fact that the youth is answering this question in the negative means they are either grossly overvaluing their time or grossly undervaluing their vote.

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  • We are at the age where we see that our youth is almost over.



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  • "In an earlier transformative era in American history, President John F. Kennedy challenged our nation to land a man on the moon within 10 years. Eight years and two months later, Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface. The average age of the systems engineers cheering on Apollo 11 from the Houston control room that day was 26, which means that their average age when President Kennedy announced the challenge was 18." (Al Gore, New York Times, November 9, 2008)

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  • '"Why should I laugh?" asked the old man. "Madness is youth is true wisdom."' -from the fairy tale The Enchanted Canary, in Andrew Lang's Red Fairy Book

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