Definition of youth in English:


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.
    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; Law minority
  • 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.
  • 1.2An early stage in the development of something: this publishing sector is no longer in its youth


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.

More definitions of youth

Definition of youth in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrəˈgāSHən
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space