Childish or immature, especially in an absurd or silly way.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



childish, immature, infantile, juvenile


mature, adult, sophisticated, worldly

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun puerilities, puerility
Verb None
Adjective puerile
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The politician’s puerile behavior during the debate, consisting of name-calling and petty insults, undermined the seriousness of the political discourse.

  • The movie’s humor relied heavily on puerile jokes and slapstick comedy, appealing more to the immature sensibilities of young audiences.

  • Despite being in a leadership position, his puerile decision-making showed a lack of maturity and an inability to consider long-term consequences.

  • The author’s attempt at addressing a complex social issue fell flat with his puerile analysis, failing to provide any meaningful insights or solutions.


The word “puerile” traces its roots back to the Latin word “puerilis,” which means “boyish” or “childish.” It is used to describe something that is immature, foolish, or characteristic of a child.

The suffix “-ile” in “puerile” is a common suffix in English that denotes the quality of something. In this case, it suggests a sense of immaturity or childishness. The word “puerile” itself carries the connotation of behavior or attitudes that are more fitting for a child than for an adult.

The term “puerile” is often used to criticize individuals who display behavior, speech, or ideas that are considered juvenile, silly, or lacking in maturity. It can refer to actions or expressions that are trivial, frivolous, or not worthy of serious consideration. It highlights the idea of immaturity and the failure to display the wisdom or judgment expected of an adult.

In literature and art, “puerile” can be used to describe works that are simplistic, unsophisticated, or lacking in depth and complexity. It is also applied to mock or criticize individuals who engage in trivial or frivolous pursuits, or who fail to show the intellectual or emotional maturity expected of their age.

By using the term “puerile,” one aims to highlight the need for growth, development, and the ability to move beyond childish or immature behavior. It serves as a reminder to strive for greater wisdom, maturity, and depth of thought and action, rather than being stuck in a state of puerility.