Definition of childhood noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈtʃaɪldhʊd//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈtʃaɪldhʊd//
[uncountable, countable] Youth
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  • the period of somebody’s life when they are a child childhood, adolescence and adulthood in early childhood childhood memories/experiences She had a happy childhood. He married his childhood sweetheart. childhood cancer CollocationsThe ages of lifeChildhood/​youth be born and raised/​bred in Oxford; into a wealthy/​middle-class family have a happy/​an unhappy/​a tough childhood grow up in a musical family/​in an orphanage/​on a farm be/​grow up an only child (= with no brothers or sisters) reach/​hit/​enter/​go through adolescence/​puberty be in your teens/​early twenties/​mid-twenties/​late twenties undergo/​experience physical/​psychological changes give in to/​succumb to/​resist peer pressure assert your independence/​individualityAdulthood leave school/​university/​home go out to work (at sixteen) get/​find a job/​partner be/​get engaged/​married have/​get a wife/​husband/​mortgage/​steady job settle down and have kids/​children/​a family begin/​start/​launch/​build a career (in politics/​science/​the music industry) prove (to be)/represent/​mark/​reach a turning point in your life/​career reach/​be well into/​settle into middle age have/​suffer/​go through a midlife crisis take/​consider early retirement approach/​announce/​enjoy your retirementOld age have/​see/​spend time with your grandchildren take up/​pursue/​develop a hobby get/​receive/​draw/​collect/​live on a pension approach/​save for/​die from old age live to a ripe old age reach the grand old age of 102/23 (often ironic) be/​become/​be getting/​be going senile (often ironic) die (peacefully)/pass away in your sleep/​after a brief illness See related entries: Youth
  • Word OriginOld English cildhād (see child, -hood).Extra examples From earliest childhood she’d had a love of dancing. He became diabetic during childhood. He spent most of his childhood in Egypt. He travelled a lot throughout his childhood. He was moved from family to family throughout his childhood. Her second son didn’t survive childhood. His health remained poor into later childhood. I remembered my own childhood fondly. She died in childhood. She had a very happy childhood. She still retained many friends from childhood. He lived in the same house throughout his childhood. childhood memories/​experiencesIdioms
    a/somebody’s second childhood
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    a time in the life of an adult person when they behave like a child again See related entries: Youth
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: childhood

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