Definition of puberty in English:



  • [mass noun] The period during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction:

    ‘the onset of puberty’
    ‘a particularly traumatic puberty’
    • ‘If you have not shown any signs of puberty by the age of fifteen, it is a good idea to visit your GP for a check-up.’
    • ‘Our study indicates that puberty may also be a highly vulnerable period.’
    • ‘Islam requires women to cover all parts of their body except their face and hands when they reach puberty.’
    • ‘The possibility that puberty is occurring earlier in Britain than previously has caused great interest.’
    • ‘An increase in physical size is the first sign of puberty in boys.’
    • ‘Times have changed; many girls are now reaching puberty at Primary School.’
    • ‘During the years between puberty and the menopause, women's ovaries make a hormone called oestrogen.’
    • ‘Significant differences in the timing of the onset of puberty between populations are well known.’
    • ‘Now the gymnasts for instance have been shown to have delayed menarche and also delayed puberty.’
    • ‘The onset of puberty appears to be triggered by changes in the blood melatonin level.’
    • ‘The onset of acne is usually around puberty, but in a minority of cases it may also start in adulthood.’
    • ‘During puberty or nearing menopause, many women have irregular periods so no treatment is necessary.’
    • ‘This is quite common in adolescents and is often first noted at the onset of puberty.’
    • ‘Central to this are the sex hormones, which are produced at puberty.’
    • ‘The magnitude of the difference rises substantially after puberty, but the reason for this change is unclear.’
    • ‘As puberty begins, your body begins to produce hormones that cause your eggs to mature.’
    • ‘Some children grow slightly more slowly than others and reach puberty later than average.’
    • ‘Generally, girls reach puberty approximately six months to a year earlier than boys.’
    • ‘Then, girls reach puberty before boys and so are more mature in their both their approach to learning and ability to learn.’
    • ‘In a few cases these feelings continue and so the physical effects of puberty can be very distressing and confusing.’
    adolescence, pubescence, sexual maturity, growing up
    youth, young adulthood, teenage years, teens, the awkward age
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Late Middle English: from Latin pubertas, from puber adult, related to pubes (see pubes).