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From Old French puberté, from Latin pubertas (the age of maturity, manhood), from pubes (youth, pubic hair, youthfulness), puber (grown up, of mature age, adult; of plants, downy, pubescent)


puberty (countable and uncountable, plural puberties)

  1. The process of sexual development of children that makes them into adolescents capable of reproducing sexually (i.e., making babies through sexual intercourse), and makes them have secondary sex characteristics.
    • 2014, Lewis Wolpert, Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man? ISBN 0571279260:
      Girls undergoing puberty show an increase in the total output of cortisol, which is related to stress, while boys show little increase.
  2. The age at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction.
    • 2009, The Development of Children Study Guide ISBN 1429217839, page 241:
      As shown in Figure 14.4 of the textbook, children reach puberty at different ages in different countries; within those nations, children living in cities tend to reach puberty earlier than those living in rural areas.


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