Definition of adolescence in English:



  • [mass noun] The period following the onset of puberty during which a young person develops from a child into an adult:

    ‘Mary spent her childhood and adolescence in Europe’
    ‘during adolescence teenagers often experience violent mood swings’
    • ‘Several models or theories have placed adolescence in a period of human development from birth to death.’
    • ‘This only develops, with brain maturation, during childhood and adolescence.’
    • ‘Childhood and adolescence are essential periods of your life in which to learn the importance of physical activity.’
    • ‘He reports several years of drug and alcohol use through his adolescence and young adult years.’
    • ‘It should be kept in mind that these girls were still in the middle of adolescence.’
    • ‘Acne appears around the onset of puberty and runs a variable course till adolescence is over.’
    • ‘So what assumptions have many people here picked up in their childhood and adolescence?’
    • ‘Puberty is the first phase of adolescence, the time when sexual maturity becomes evident.’
    • ‘Her arrival in the city stimulates a series of memories of childhood and adolescence both in herself and other people.’
    • ‘The legendary sensitivity of adolescence is a kind of self-absorption.’
    • ‘The story of his childhood and adolescence is similar to that of many young men who came from the northern part of Sri Lanka.’
    • ‘Teenage boys and women past adolescence also develop the condition, but this is less common.’
    • ‘Born in Calcutta, Murray spent most of her childhood and adolescence in India.’
    • ‘Jenny's adolescence and adult life are, from the outside, quite ordinary.’
    • ‘It's a book a lot of people read at school and strongly associate with their adolescence.’
    • ‘The rush of hormones associated with adolescence is why teenagers commonly suffer.’
    • ‘He learnt to become an observer and a narrator because so much of his childhood and adolescence was spent in bed.’
    • ‘Young people who need ongoing specialist care beyond adolescence must transfer to adult services.’
    • ‘The apparent protective effect seemed to be greatest for sun exposure during childhood and early adolescence.’
    • ‘Secondly, do symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescence predict cannabis use in young adults?’
    teenage years, teens, youth, young adulthood, young days, early life
    pubescence, puberty
    juvenescence, juvenility
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from French, from Latin adolescentia, from adolescere grow to maturity (see adolescent).