19 January 2009


Puerile came to me in an email from a poet, asking for some feedback, input, criticism, if you will, on a new poem. She said "It's either less puerile or less crap than the stuff I've been writing over the last couple months."

I think of this word as meaning thin and weak, mewling, unseemly, immature.


Puerile Pu"er*ile, a. [L. puerilis, fr. puer a child, a boy:
cf. F. pu['e]ril.]
Boyish; childish; trifling; silly.
[1913 Webster]

The French have been notorious through generations for
their puerile affectation of Roman forms, models, and
historic precedents. --De Quincey.
[1913 Webster]

Syn: Youthful; boyish; juvenile; childish; trifling; weak.
See Youthful.
[1913 Webster]

-- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

adj 1: of or characteristic of a child; "puerile breathing"
2: displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity; "adolescent
insecurity"; "jejune responses to our problems"; "their
behavior was juvenile"; "puerile jokes" [syn: adolescent,
jejune, juvenile]

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

31 Moby Thesaurus words for "puerile":
asinine, babish, babyish, beardless, boyish, boylike, calflike,
childish, childlike, coltish, foolish, girlish, girllike, immature,
inconsequential, infantile, infantine, insignificant,
irresponsible, juvenile, kiddish, maiden, maidenly, puplike,
puppyish, puppylike, ridiculous, shallow, silly, sophomoric,

-- From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0

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