February 28, 2012
infantile (adjective)
\IN-fun-tyle\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: of, relating to, or resembling infants or infancy; also : childish
How do you use it?
The students who started the food fight were all given detention and informed sternly that such infantile behavior would not be tolerated.
Are you a word wiz?

Let's see how well you understand the meaning of "infantile." Which of the following is the best example of something that might be described as infantile?

As our example sentence demonstrates, "infantile" is not generally a positive word. It's often used to describe behavior—like food fights and temper tantrums—that most people eventually grow out of. It's definitely not used to describe things—like colored pencils, puzzles, and flowers—that people of any age enjoy. "Infantile" comes from the word "infant," but that word doesn't share the negative feeling of "infantile." "Infant" comes a Latin adjective that means "incapable of speech"—something infants all are, but for which no one blames them.
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