puberty

[pyoo-ber-tee]
noun
the period or age at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction of offspring: in common law, presumed to be 14 years in the male and 12 years in the female.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English puberte < Latin pūbertās adulthood, equivalent to pūber-, stem of pūbēs grown-up + -tās -ty2

postpuberty, adjective
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World English Dictionary
puberty (ˈpjuːbətɪ)
 
n
Also called: pubescence the period at the beginning of adolescence when the sex glands become functional and the secondary sexual characteristics emergeRelated: hebetic
 
Related: hebetic
 
[C14: from Latin pūbertās maturity, from pūber adult]
 
'pubertal
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

puberty
"the time of life in which the two sexes begin first to be acquainted" [Johnson], 1382, from O.Fr. puberté, from L. pubertatem (nom. pubertas) "age of maturity, manhood," from pubes (gen. pubertis) "adult, full-grown, manly."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

puberty pu·ber·ty (pyōō'bər-tē)
n.
The stage of adolescence in which an individual becomes physiologically capable of sexual reproduction.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
puberty   (py'bər-tē)  Pronunciation Key 
The stage in the development of humans and other primates marked by the development of secondary sex characteristics, including menarche in females. In humans, puberty occurs at the onset of adolescence, between the ages of about 11 and 14 in girls and 13 and 16 in boys.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The genetic flaw caused him to age prematurely and die essentially of old age
  before completing puberty.
Puberty is the scourge of parents, teachers and schoolroom desks.
They can only be activated in females after puberty.
The new study shows that the onset of panic attacks is closely linked to
  puberty.
Synonyms
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