Definition of youth in English:

youth

Line breaks: youth
Pronunciation: /juːθ
 
/

noun (plural youths /juːðz/)

1 [in singular] The period between childhood and adult age: he had been a keen sportsman in his youth
More example sentences
  • The family oriented residential event offered a full programme of presentations, seminars and workshops for the youth and adults.
  • There was no statistical difference between the youth and adult groups in the distribution of diagnoses of injuries.
  • In terms of the severity, there was no difference between the youth and adult groups.
Synonyms
early years, early life, young days, teens, teenage years, adolescence, young adulthood, boyhood, girlhood, childhood; immaturity; prime, heyday, day, hour, time, springtime, salad days, bloom, peak, pinnacle, height; Lawminority
1.1 [mass noun] The qualities of vigour, freshness, or immaturity as associated with being young: she imagined her youth and beauty fading
More example sentences
  • You have an endearing quality of youth and innocence that attracts people around you today.
  • The qualities of youth and beauty were regarded as a fitting gift for their gods.
  • These are days of freshness, of youth and of fresh talent.
Synonyms
1.2An early stage in the development of something: this publishing sector is no longer in its youth
2A young man: he was attacked by a gang of youths
More example sentences
  • On the day of the attack, a gang of youths had marched into the school's foyer at lunchtime.
  • Police have taken action to stop large gangs of youths congregating on church grounds.
  • Children and youths are our responsibility and it is us who are letting down our youngsters.
Synonyms
young man, boy, lad, youngster, juvenile, teenager, adolescent, junior, minor, young one; stripling, whippersnapper, fledgling; Scottish & Northern Englishbairn
informal kid, chav, hoodie, teen, shaver
2.1 [treated as singular or plural] Young people considered as a group: black youth has experienced high levels of racial discrimination [as modifier]: youth culture
More example sentences
  • She shows how Hispanic minors are poised to overtake African Americans as the largest ethnic youth population in the country.
  • Britpop was Trainspotting's main vehicle to integrate youth subculture into popular culture.
  • From the very beginning this new youth culture crossed national borders.
Synonyms
young people, young, younger generation, rising generation, next generation
informal kids

Origin

Old English geoguth, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch jeugd, German Jugend, also to young.

Word trends

Youth was once the ultimate state, envied and romanticized by those who had left it behind, with youths themselves celebrated as the possessors of beauty and potential. But that time has passed, with the Oxford English Corpus telling a sorry tale of the state of today’s youth: unemployed, disaffected, nuisance, and drunken are some of the most common modifiers, while almost all of the verbs associated with youths are violent or threatening, with attack, smash, vandalize, intimidate, and assault all scoring highly. And youths cannot simply meet—they congregate, gather, and even plague: intimidating gangs of baseball-capped youths congregating around the newsagents a shopping parade plagued by nuisance youths. Teenagers fare equally badly, commonly being the object of verbs such as kill, stab, arrest, and molest and described as troubled, rebellious, spotty, or pregnant.

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