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From Middle English yong, from Old English ġeong, from Proto-Germanic *jungaz, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂yuh₁en-. Compare West Frisian and Dutch jong, German jung, Danish ung.



young (comparative younger, superlative youngest)

  1. In the early part of growth or life; born not long ago.
    • Daniel De Foe
      while the fears of the people were young
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      "What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like dancing after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished society."
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
    • 2013 July 19, Ian Sample, “Irregular bedtimes may affect children's brains”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 34: 
      Irregular bedtimes may disrupt healthy brain development in young children, according to a study of intelligence and sleeping habits.  ¶ Going to bed at a different time each night affected girls more than boys, but both fared worse on mental tasks than children who had a set bedtime, researchers found.
    a lamb is a young sheep;  these picture books are for young readers;  the age of space travel is still young
  2. As if young; having the look or qualities of a young person.
    • 2013 August 3, “Revenge of the nerds”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8847: 
      Think of banking today and the image is of grey-suited men in towering skyscrapers. Its future, however, is being shaped in converted warehouses and funky offices in San Francisco, New York and London, where bright young things in jeans and T-shirts huddle around laptops, sipping lattes or munching on free food.
    My grandmother is a very active woman and is quite young for her age.
  3. Of or belonging to the early part of life.
    The cynical world soon shattered my young dreams.
  4. (obsolete) Having little experience; inexperienced; unpracticed; ignorant; weak.



Derived terms[edit]



young (uncountable)

  1. People who are young; young beings.
  2. The younger generation.
  3. Offspring.
    The lion caught a gnu to feed its young.


Related terms[edit]


young (third-person singular simple present youngs, present participle younging, simple past and past participle younged)

  1. (informal or demography) To become or seem to become younger
    • 1993, Jacob S. Siegel, A Generation of Change, page 5:
      The aging (or younging) of a population refers to the fact that a population, as a unit of observation, is getting older (or younger).
  2. (informal or demography) To cause to appear younger
    • 1984, US Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports[1], page 74:
      Medicare data was "younged" by a month to achieve conformity with the conventional completed ages recorded in the census.
  3. (geology) To exhibit younging