Definition of JUVENILE

JUVENILE Adjective and Noun

Juvenile is a term that functions as both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, it describes something related to youth or young age. As a noun, it refers to a young person or an individual who has not yet reached adulthood. The term is commonly used in various contexts, including legal, psychological, and general everyday language.

JUVENILE as an adjective

When used as an adjective, juvenile pertains to characteristics or qualities associated with youth.

Youthful Characteristics: Juvenile describes attributes that are typical of young people or children. This can include physical traits, behaviors, and mental capacities. For example, a juvenile appearance might refer to someone who looks young, while juvenile behavior can imply actions that are immature or typical of a younger age group.

Legal Context: In legal terminology, juvenile refers to matters concerning individuals who are not yet adults, typically under the age of 18. Juvenile courts handle cases involving minors, and juvenile laws are designed to address issues related to the rights and responsibilities of young people. Juvenile delinquency refers to illegal or antisocial behavior by minors.

Psychological and Developmental Context: Psychologists and educators often use juvenile to discuss developmental stages. Juvenile development involves the physical, emotional, and cognitive growth that occurs from childhood through adolescence. Understanding juvenile development is crucial for creating age-appropriate educational programs and interventions.

JUVENILE as a noun

As a noun, juvenile refers to a young person or an organism that has not yet reached maturity.

Young Person: A juvenile is a child or adolescent. This term is often used in contexts where the age of the individual is significant, such as in juvenile justice, education, or child welfare systems. The focus is on the developmental stage and the associated needs and behaviors of young people.

Young Animal or Plant: In biology, juvenile can refer to young animals or plants that have not yet reached adulthood. For example, juvenile fish or juvenile plants are in early stages of growth and development. This usage emphasizes the stage of life rather than the species.

Conclusion: In conclusion, juvenile is a versatile term that serves as both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, it describes characteristics related to youth and is commonly used in legal and psychological contexts. As a noun, it refers to young people or immature organisms. The term underscores the importance of age and developmental stages in various aspects of life, from legal systems to educational and biological studies. Understanding the nuances of juvenile helps in addressing the specific needs and behaviors associated with youth.

JUVENILE in a sentence

JUVENILE as an adjective in a sentence

  • The police officer deals with juvenile offenders on a regular basis.
  • The juvenile court system focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment.
  • His juvenile behavior often gets him into trouble with authority figures.
  • The artist’s style has a playful and juvenile quality to it.
  • The movie’s humor may appeal more to juvenile audiences.
  • Her juvenile antics at work earned her a stern warning from the boss.
  • The juvenile detention center provides counseling and educational programs for its residents.
  • The juvenile whale was spotted swimming alongside its mother in the ocean.

JUVENILE as a noun in a sentence

  • The juvenile was sentenced to community service for his role in the vandalism.
  • The animal shelter cares for both adult dogs and juveniles awaiting adoption.
  • The court specializes in cases involving juveniles accused of crimes.
  • The school offers programs for juveniles who have been expelled from traditional classrooms.
  • The juveniles were caught shoplifting at the mall and were escorted out by security.
  • The juvenile was released into the custody of his parents after the hearing.
  • The facility provides rehabilitation services for juveniles convicted of non-violent offenses.
  • The teacher noticed a group of juveniles loitering near the school’s entrance.

Origin of JUVENILE

The term juvenile has a multifaceted linguistic journey, originating from Latin and evolving through legal, social, and psychological contexts, reflecting its diverse meanings and applications over time.

  • Latin Roots: The term “juvenile” is derived from the Latin word “juvenilis,” which means “youthful” or “pertaining to youth.” In its original Latin context, “juvenile” referred to characteristics, behaviors, or individuals associated with young age.
  • Legal Context: In legal contexts, particularly within the justice system, the term “juvenile” came to denote individuals who are not yet considered adults, typically under the age of majority. Juvenile justice systems are designed to address the unique needs and circumstances of young offenders, focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment.
  • Social and Cultural Perspectives: Beyond the legal realm, the term “juvenile” is often used to describe behaviors, attitudes, or cultural phenomena associated with youthfulness or immaturity. It may connote a sense of playfulness, energy, or innocence, as well as traits such as impulsivity or rebelliousness.
  • Psychological Development: In psychology, the term “juvenile” is sometimes used to describe a stage of development characterized by physical, cognitive, and emotional changes associated with adolescence. Psychologists study juvenile development to understand the factors that influence behavior and decision-making during this critical period.
  • Contemporary Usage: In contemporary usage, the term “juvenile” is employed in a variety of contexts, including legal, social, and scientific discussions. It encompasses the legal category of young offenders, as well as broader notions of youthfulness, immaturity, and developmental stages.

The term juvenile thus epitomizes a linguistic evolution from its Latin origins, through legal, social, and psychological dimensions, to its modern usage, where it encompasses a range of meanings related to youthfulness, immaturity, and developmental stages.


  • Young
  • Adolescent
  • Teenage
  • Junior
  • Youthful
  • Childish
  • Puerile
  • Minor


  • Adult
  • Mature
  • Grown-up
  • Senior
  • Elderly
  • Aged
  • Veteran
  • Sophisticated


  • Youth
  • Juvenile Court
  • Minors
  • Youthful Offenders
  • Underage
  • Child Protection
  • Rehabilitation
  • Adolescent Behaviour

🌐 🇬🇧 JUVENILE in other languages

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