English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English childhode, childhod, from Old English ċildhād (childhood), equivalent to child +‎ -hood. Compare dialectal Dutch kindheid (childishness), German Low German Kinnerheid (childhood), and German Kindheit (childhood).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃaɪldhʊd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪldhʊd
  • Hyphenation: child‧hood

Noun edit

childhood (countable and uncountable, plural childhoods)

  1. (chiefly uncountable) The state of being a child.
    • 2013 September-October, Terrie Moffitt et al., “Lifelong Impact of Early Self-Control”, in American Scientist:
      To our own surprise, our 40-year study of 1,000 children revealed that childhood self-control strongly predicts adult success, in people of high or low intelligence, in rich or poor, and does so throughout the entire population, with a step change in health, wealth, and social success at every level of self-control.
  2. The time during which one is a child, from between infancy and puberty.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      He stood transfixed before the unaccustomed view of London at night time, a vast panorama which reminded him [] of some wood engravings far off and magical, in a printshop in his childhood.
  3. (by extension) The early stages of development of something.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also edit

Middle English edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of childhode