childhood

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English childhod, from Old English ċildhād (childhood), from ċild (child) + -hād (-hood), equivalent to child +‎ -hood.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

childhood (plural childhoods)

  1. (uncountable) The state of being a child.
    • 2013 September-October, Terrie Moffitt et al., “Lifelong Impact of Early Self-Control”, American Scientist: 
      To our own surprise, our 40-year study of 1,000 children revealed that childhood self-control strongly predicts adult success, in people of high or low intelligence, in rich or poor, and does so throughout the entire population, with a step change in health, wealth, and social success at every level of self-control.
  2. The time during which one is a child, from between infancy and puberty.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      He stood transfixed before the unaccustomed view of London at night time, a vast panorama which reminded him […] of some wood engravings far off and magical, in a printshop in his childhood.
  3. (by extension) The early stages of development of something.
    • Shakespeare
      the childhood of our joy

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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See also[edit]