Definition of pubescence in English:



mass noun
  • 1The time when puberty begins.

    • ‘Back in the days of my earliest pubescence, the nice ladies in long black robes confronted all us nice little girls in pigtails with our first major spiritual crisis.’
    • ‘And all this ‘being acted upon’ and individual choice-making eventually, in pubescence and later, mysteriously results in differing sorts of desires and attractions and actions.’
    • ‘Recently, I wondered aloud about the seemingly substantial number of Great Writers who suffered brothel-related misadventures/trauma in pubescence.’
    • ‘Girls experience epiphyseal closure of long bones secondary to estrogen secretion, grow approximately two to eight inches in height, and gain 15 to 65 lb during pubescence.’
    • ‘Like in every family gathering with mothers hoping to become grandmothers, and young men and women in the throes of late pubescence, sex is the gossamer web that holds all discourse together.’
    adolescence, sexual maturity, growing up
    View synonyms
  • 2Zoology Botany
    Soft down on the leaves and stems of plants or on various parts of animals, especially insects.

    • ‘He gave special attention to the pubescence of the leaves and of the calyces.’
    • ‘Variation, particularly in leaf shape and pubescence, is considerable in the genus as a whole.’
    • ‘This group is supported by the presence of sparse or early-deciduous stem pubescence and carnose leaves.’
    • ‘Dense leaf pubescence is widespread among plants growing at very high elevations.’
    • ‘Leaf pubescence in cotton have a potential for insect pest management.’


Late Middle English: from French, or from medieval Latin pubescentia, from Latin pubescent- ‘reaching puberty’ (see pubescent).