Puberty


Puberty
Another word for adolescence. The word puberty derives from the Latin pubertas: coming to the age of manhood.
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Sequence of events by which a child becomes a young adult, characterized by the beginning of gametogenesis, secretion of gonadal hormones, development of secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive functions; sexual dimorphism is accentuated. In girls, the first signs of p. may be evident at age 8 with the process largely completed by age 16; in boys, p. commonly begins at ages 10–12 and is largely completed by age 18. Ethnic and geographic factors may influence the time at which various events typical of p. occur. [L. pubertas, fr. puber, grown up]
- delayed p. lack of any signs of p. by age 14 years in either sex.
- precocious p. condition in which pubertal changes begin at an unexpectedly early age. This can involve the initiation of the normal hypothalamic-pituitary axis changes before the age of 8. Idiopathic is the most common reason.
- true precocious p. SYN: hyperovarianism.

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pu·ber·ty 'pyü-bərt-ē n, pl -ties
1) the condition of being or the period of becoming first capable of reproducing sexually marked by maturing of the genital organs, development of secondary sex characteristics, and in humans and the higher primates by the first occurrence of menstruation in the female
2) the age at which puberty occurs being typically between 13 and 16 years in boys and 11 and 14 in girls and often construed legally as 14 in boys and 12 in girls

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n.
the time at which the onset of sexual maturity occurs and the reproductive organs become functional (see gonadarche). This is manifested in both sexes by the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics (e.g. deepening of the voice in boys; growth of breasts in girls) and in girls by the start of menstruation. These changes are brought about by an increase in sex hormone activity due to stimulation of the ovaries and testes by pituitary hormones. See also adrenarche, androgen, oestrogen, precocious puberty.
pubertal adj.

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pu·ber·ty (puґbər-te) [L. pubertas] the period during which the secondary sex characters begin to develop and the capability of sexual reproduction is attained. puberal, pubertal adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Puberty — refers to the process of physical changes by which a child s body becomes an adult body capable of reproduction. Puberty is initiated by hormone signals from the brain to the gonads (the ovaries and testes). In response, the gonads produce a… …   Wikipedia

  • puberty — [pyo͞o′bər tē] n. [ME puberte < L pubertas < puber, of ripe age, adult, prob. akin to puer, boy] the stage of physical development when secondary sex characteristics develop and sexual reproduction first becomes possible: in common law, the …   English World dictionary

  • Puberty — Pu ber*ty, n. [L. pubertas, fr. puber, pubes, adult: cf. F. pubert[ e].] 1. The earliest age at which persons are capable of begetting or bearing children, usually considered, in temperate climates, to be about fourteen years in males and twelve… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • puberty — index adolescence Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • puberty — (n.) the time of life in which the two sexes begin first to be acquainted [Johnson], late 14c., from O.Fr. puberté, from L. pubertatem (nom. pubertas) age of maturity, manhood, from pubes (gen. pubertis) adult, full grown, manly …   Etymology dictionary

  • puberty — puberty, pubescence *youth, adolescence …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • puberty — [n] young adulthood adolescence, awkward stage*, boyhood, girlhood, greenness*, high school years, juvenescence, juvenility, potency, preadolescence, pubescence, spring*, springtide*, springtime*, teenage years, teens, youth, youthfulness;… …   New thesaurus

  • puberty — ► NOUN ▪ the period during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction. DERIVATIVES pubertal adjective. ORIGIN Latin pubertas, from puber adult , related to pubes (see PUBES(Cf. ↑pubes)) …   English terms dictionary

  • puberty — /pyooh beuhr tee/, n. the period or age at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction of offspring: in common law, presumed to be 14 years in the male and 12 years in the female. [1350 1400; ME puberte < L pubertas adulthood, equiv.… …   Universalium

  • puberty — noun VERB + PUBERTY ▪ enter, hit (informal), reach ▪ She hit puberty a year before any of her friends. ▪ He reached puberty at the age of fourteen. ▪ approach …   Collocations dictionary

  • PUBERTY — It was estimated that puberty, defined by the appearance of two pubic hairs, began in women early in the 13th year, and in men about the start of the 14th year, and for that reason maturity was regarded as beginning legally from the age of 12… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism


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