puberty
Noun

puberty

  1. A developmental phase brought about by the action of hormones as part of the maturing process. For humans, there are three in total.
    1. (more common) The process of sexual development that produces secondary sex characteristics and makes a person capable of reproducing sexually.
    • 2014, Lewis Wolpert, Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man? ISBN 0571279260:
      Girls undergoing puberty show an increase in the total output of cortisol, which is related to stress, while boys show little increase.
  2. The age at which a person is first capable of sexual reproduction.
    • 2009, The Development of Children Study Guide ISBN 1429217839, page 241:
      As shown in Figure 14.4 of the textbook, children reach puberty at different ages in different countries; within those nations, children living in cities tend to reach puberty earlier than those living in rural areas.
  3. The period when a plant begins to flower.
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