From Middle English childhode, childhod, from Old English ċildhād (“childhood”), equivalent to child + -hood. Compare dialectal Dutch kindheid (“childishness”), German Low German Kinnerheid (“childhood”), German Kindheit (“childhood”),
- (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.
- The time during which one is a child, from between infancy and puberty.
- (by extension) The early stages of development of something.
- c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii]:
- the childhood of our joy
state of being a child
time when one is a child
early stages of development of something
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- Alternative form of