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From Old French puberté, from Latin pubertas (the age of maturity, manhood), from pubes (youth, pubic hair, youthfulness), puber (grown up, of mature age, adult; of plants, downy, pubescent)


puberty (countable and uncountable, plural puberties)

  1. The process of sexual development that produces secondary sex characteristics and makes a person capable of reproducing sexually.
    • 2014, Lewis Wolpert, Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man? →ISBN:
      Girls undergoing puberty show an increase in the total output of cortisol, which is related to stress, while boys show little increase.
  2. The age at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction.
    • 2009, The Development of Children Study Guide →ISBN, page 241:
      As shown in Figure 14.4 of the textbook, children reach puberty at different ages in different countries; within those nations, children living in cities tend to reach puberty earlier than those living in rural areas.
  3. The period when a plant begins to flower.


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