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[pyoo-ber-tee] /ˈpyu bər ti/
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 of puberty
1350-1400; Middle English puberte < Latin pūbertās adulthood, equivalent to pūber-, stem of pūbēs grown-up + -tās -ty2
Related forms
postpuberty, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for puberty
  • 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.
  • Being a year behind in middle school you're also a year behind in puberty and that's a tough year.
  • Further research needs to be conducted into the role of endocrine disruption, early puberty and obesity.
  • Well there are certain facial features which correlate with high levels of estrogen during puberty.
  • Other patients may develop precocious puberty or increased prolactin levels from a change in pituitary gland function.
  • They may also occur during the rapid growth of puberty in males and females.
  • Yes, the part about discipline and dealing with people going through puberty comes as a shock for people coming from higher ed.
British Dictionary definitions for puberty


the period at the beginning of adolescence when the sex glands become functional and the secondary sexual characteristics emerge Also called pubescence, related adjective hebetic
Derived Forms
pubertal, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin pūbertās maturity, from pūber adult
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for puberty

"the time of life in which the two sexes begin first to be acquainted" [Johnson], late 14c., from Old French puberté and directly from Latin pubertatem (nominative pubertas) "age of maturity, manhood," from pubes (genitive pubertis) "adult, full-grown, manly." Related: Puberal; pubertal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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puberty in Medicine

puberty pu·ber·ty (pyōō'bər-tē)
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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puberty in Science
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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