English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English youthe, youghte, ȝouþe, from Old English ġeoguþ (the state of being young; youth), from Proto-West Germanic *juwunþa, from Proto-Germanic *jugunþō, *jugunþiz (youth), corresponding to young +‎ -th. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Juugd, West Frisian jeugd, Dutch jeugd, German Low German Jöögd, German Jugend.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

youth (countable and uncountable, plural youths)

  1. (uncountable) The quality or state of being young.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, “The Purchase Price”, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. The clear light of the bright autumn morning had no terrors for youth and health like hers.
    • 1936 Feb. 15, Ernest Hemingway, letter to Maxwell Perkins:
      Feel awfully about Scott... It was a terrible thing for him to love youth so much that he jumped straight from youth to senility without going through manhood. The minute he felt youth going he was frightened again and thought there was nothing between youth and age.
    Synonyms: juvenility, youngness, (archaic) youngth, youthfulness
    Antonyms: age, dotage, old age, senility
    Her youth and beauty attracted him to her.
  2. (uncountable) The part of life following childhood; the period of existence preceding maturity or age; the whole early part of life, from childhood, or, sometimes, from infancy, to adulthood.
    Make the most of your youth, it will not last forever.
    I made many mistakes in my youth, but learned from them all.
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, London: Heinemann, →OCLC, page 49:
      I don't find the pose of careless youth charming and engaging any more than you find the pose of careworn age fascinating and eccentric, I should imagine.
    • 2013 January, Brian Hayes, “Father of Fractals”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, page 62:
      Toward the end of the war, Benoit was sent off on his own with forged papers; he wound up working as a horse groom at a chalet in the Loire valley. Mandelbrot describes this harrowing youth with great sangfroid.
  3. (countable) A young person.
    Synonyms: adolescent, child, kid, lad, teen, teenager, youngster
    Antonyms: adult, grown-up
    There was a group of youths hanging around the parking lot, reading fashion magazines and listening to music.
  4. (countable) A young man; a male adolescent or young adult.
    Synonyms: boy, young man
  5. (uncountable, used with a plural or singular verb) Young persons, collectively.
    Synonyms: adolescents, kids, teenagers, teens, young people, youngsters

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

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Further reading edit

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Middle English edit

Noun edit


  1. (Late Middle English) Alternative form of youthe