Definition: Adolescence

From New World Encyclopedia
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From Middle English adolescence, from Old French adolescence, from Latin adolēscentia, from adolēscēns (young).


adolescence (countable and uncountable, plural adolescences)

  1. The transitional period of physical and psychological development between childhood and maturity.
    During adolescence, the body and mind go through many complex changes, some of which are difficult to deal with.

Usage notes

While adolescence is mostly interchangeable with teendom and teenhood, as it happens during ages ending in -teen, this correspondence is not absolute, so adolescence can be understood as a broader or narrower term depending on the context.

Derived terms

  • preadolescence

Related terms

  • adolescent


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