youthful

youthful, juvenile, puerile, boyish, virgin, virginal, maiden are comparable when they mean relating to or characteristic of one who is between childhood and adulthood; although their basic meaning is the same, they are seldom interchangeable because of widely differing implications and applications.
Youthful suggests the possession or the appearance of youth, or of qualities appropriate to youth; it can be employed laudatorily or in extenuation
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youthful aspirations

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youthful indiscretions

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Juvenile often suggests immaturity of mind or body or lack of experience; it is applied especially to what is suited to or designed for boys and girls in their early teens
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juvenile dances

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Juvenile fiction

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Puerile is applied especially to acts and utterances which, though excusable in a boy or girl or characteristic of immaturity, would be unpardonable or out of character in an adult; the word finds its commonest use in depreciatory reference to acts or utterances of the mature
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what seemed sapient discourse in 1940 is rather puerile chatter now—G. W. Johnson

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time and again the suspicion wounds us that we are puerile people, fetal minds, illegible tapestries— Peggy Bennett

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Boyish (compare mannish under MALE), though referred commonly to boys, is sometimes used in reference to girls or their clothes, appearance, or qualities. The term often suggests some of the engaging qualities or the physical attractiveness of normal, vigorous boys
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a boyish smile

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boyish charm

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boyish enthusiasm

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Virgin and virginal, though referable usually to girls, in the extended use in which they suggest the freshness, innocence, purity, and inexperience that are associated with youthful virginity are applicable also to boys
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that beautiful mixture of manly courage and virginal modesty— Farrar

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he smiled like a girl, or like clear winter skies, a virginal light making stars of his eyes— Lindsay

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Maiden in its extended sense carries an even stronger suggestion than virgin or virginal of youthful lack of experience; it also implies that one's qualities (as virtue, worth, competence, or strength) have not been tried or tested
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a maiden speech

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his maiden effort at authorship

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Analogous words: *immature, unmatured
Antonyms: aged
Contrasted words: *mature, matured, grown-up

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Youthful — Youth ful, a. 1. Not yet mature or aged; young. Two youthful knights. Dryden. Also used figuratively. The youthful season of the year. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Of or pertaining to the early part of life; suitable to early life; as, youthful days;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • youthful — index inexperienced, juvenile Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • youthful — (adj.) 1560s, from YOUTH (Cf. youth) + FUL (Cf. ful). Related: Youthfulness …   Etymology dictionary

  • youthful — [adj] new, immature active, adolescent, boyish, budding, buoyant, callow, childish, childlike, enthusiastic, fresh, full of life, girlish, green*, inexperienced, infant, juvenile, keen, pubescent, puerile, tender, underage, vernal, vigorous,… …   New thesaurus

  • youthful — ► ADJECTIVE 1) young or seeming young. 2) characteristic of young people. DERIVATIVES youthfully adverb youthfulness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • youthful — [yo͞oth′fəl] adj. 1. young; possessing youth; not yet old or mature 2. of, characteristic of, or suitable for youth 3. fresh; vigorous; active 4. new; early; in an early stage 5. Geol. YOUNG (sense 8) SYN. YOUNG youthfully …   English World dictionary

  • youthful — adjective Date: 1557 1. of, relating to, or characteristic of youth < youthful inexperience > 2. being young and not yet mature 3. marked by or possessing youth < youthful dancers > 4. having the vitality or freshness of youth ; vigorous < my… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • youthful — youth|ful [ˈju:θfəl] adj 1.) typical of young people, or seeming young youthful enthusiasm/energy/vigour youthful appearance/looks/complexion ▪ She has managed to maintain her youthful appearance. 2.) young ▪ The photo shows a smiling, youthful… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • youthful — youth|ful [ juθfəl ] adjective typical of young people: youthful enthusiasm/rebellion a. someone who is youthful has many of the positive qualities considered to be typical of young people: SPRY: an astonishingly youthful widow of 65 b. young: a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • youthful — [[t]ju͟ːθfʊl[/t]] ADJ GRADED Someone who is youthful behaves as if they are young or younger than they really are. I m a very youthful 50. ...youthful enthusiasm and high spirits... Gary Glitter, 48, revealed the secret of his youthful looks.… …   English dictionary

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