Definition of puerile in English:



  • Childishly silly and immature.

    ‘a puerile argument’
    • ‘No puerile, childish criticisms will diminish their importance, nor minimise their influence on our national psyche.’
    • ‘This version is puerile, including jokes that could hardly have raised a snigger when first heard and turns of speech abandoned for over a generation.’
    • ‘Two best man speeches at the reception as well, that's twice the opportunity for inane and puerile humour.’
    • ‘It has just the right tone to reach them - puerile but non-threatening, lowbrow but chaste.’
    • ‘And rather than enjoying my puerile comments, Scarlett was stung.’
    • ‘Such a success story, so unapologetically, cheerfully puerile.’
    • ‘This whole project sounds like the most puerile, childish and willfully obnoxious cinematic venture in years.’
    • ‘Still think its hilarious though, but I'm a generally juvenile (and puerile!) person.’
    • ‘The characters' grotesque infantilism and puerile sense of humour is an important part of what is being satirised.’
    • ‘Swift uses this story to satirize the petty divisions and puerile squabbling of Christian sects.’
    • ‘When we see our politicians acting in such a puerile and childish manner is it any wonder the country is awash with apathy and cynicism?’
    • ‘For some the right to a fair trial is trumped by rubber-necking, political opportunism and puerile attention seeking.’
    • ‘Because the reasoning would be too puerile and the attempted association too reminiscent of the methods of Stalinism.’
    • ‘It all seems so puerile and, dare I say it, insensitive.’
    • ‘There was a certain puerile joy in her, a childish excitement shone in her eyes.’
    • ‘They must have thought I was crass, puerile and selfish.’
    • ‘It's a puerile ideal - in real life we're all far too independent and self-centered to want to dissolve ourselves in another person.’
    • ‘Opposition may sometimes seem like a game, and there is nothing more puerile than politicians yah-booing each other purely for the sake of it.’
    • ‘Seriously, my friends, this a deep and meaningful lesson, not just a puerile, unfunny swipe at poor people.’
    • ‘Essentially, this takes the form of an oppositional dualism that frequently manifests itself in demonstrably puerile ways.’
    immature, babyish, infantile, juvenile
    childish, immature, infantile, juvenile, adolescent, babyish
    View synonyms


Late 16th century (in the sense ‘like a boy’): from French puéril or Latin puerilis, from puer ‘boy’.