infancy

[in-fuhn-see]
noun, plural infancies.
1.
the state or period of being an infant; very early childhood, usually the period before being able to walk; babyhood.
2.
the corresponding period in the existence of anything; very early stage: Space science is in its infancy.
3.
infants collectively.
4.
Law. the period of life to the age of majority, 21 years at common law but now usually 18; minority; nonage.

Origin:
1485–95; < Latin infantia. See infant, -cy

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World English Dictionary
infancy (ˈɪnfənsɪ)
 
n , pl -cies
1.  the state or period of being an infant; childhood
2.  an early stage of growth or development
3.  infants collectively
4.  the period of life prior to attaining legal majority (reached at 21 under common law, at 18 by statute); minority nonage

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

infancy in·fan·cy (ĭn'fən-sē)
n.

  1. The earliest period of childhood, especially before the ability to walk has been acquired.

  2. The state of being an infant.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Tests to detect cancer-causing mutations are still in their infancy.
Such precision farming using satellite-based intelligence is in its infancy.
Unfortunately, artificial photosynthesis is still in its infancy.
The art of forecasting space weather is in its infancy.
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