adolescent

noun
ad·​o·​les·​cent | \ ˌa-də-ˈle-sᵊnt \

Definition of adolescent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a young person who is developing into an adult : one who is in the state of adolescence

adolescent

adjective

Definition of adolescent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being in adolescence adolescent growth adolescent boys and girls
2 : emotionally or intellectually immature did not appreciate her husband's adolescent high jinks

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Other Words from adolescent

Adjective

adolescently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for adolescent

Synonyms: Adjective

immature, juvenile, young, youngish, youthful

Antonyms: Adjective

adult, grown-up, mature, matured

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Examples of adolescent in a Sentence

Noun

Their children are now adolescents.

Adjective

an adolescent sheepdog, who hasn't quite gotten the hang of keeping the sheep huddled together would hope that the college students had outgrown such adolescent behavior
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

He was prescribed an anti-psychotic drug as an adolescent and had been hospitalized at least twice for mental illness. Brian Witte, The Seattle Times, "Shooting suspect was able to buy guns despite mental illness," 28 Aug. 2018 Divorce filings from his parents say that as an adolescent he was twice hospitalized in psychiatric facilities and was prescribed antipsychotic and antidepressant medications. Russ Bynum, Fox News, "Gunman 'clearly targeted other gamers' at Florida tournament," 28 Aug. 2018 The study looked at young people up to age 19 and analyzed how adolescents encountered the medication. Christen A. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Poison control calls for ADHD drugs increased more than 60%, study finds," 21 May 2018 Older adolescents, ages 17-18, were quicker to make emotional disclosures in conversations where mothers were highly validating. Jennifer Breheny Wallace, WSJ, "The Right Way for Parents to Question Their Teenagers," 23 Nov. 2018 Researchers found that the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses in children and adolescents (ages 4 to 17) rose from 6.1 percent in 1997–1998 to 10.2 percent in 2015–2016. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Why Are So Many More Children Being Diagnosed With ADHD Today?," 24 Sep. 2018 The ban worked: adolescents were 17 percent less likely to become cigarette smokers after it was enacted, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Lawmakers are trying to regulate e-cigarette flavors," 1 Aug. 2018 Although for years my diet has been that of an adolescent, my cholesterol and blood pressure have always been low. George Parry, Philly.com, "I had a stroke. Don't do what I did if the same thing happens to you.," 1 June 2018 And there are different stories in mothering young babies or children age zero to 3 than there are in how to raise young children or adolescents, and then also emerging adults, and then the empty-nest experience. Erin Zimmerman, The Cut, "The Identity Transformation of Becoming a Mom," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Between four and seven years later, the researchers found, adolescent girls who had moved into more expensive neighborhoods were far less likely to drink to excess than girls who remained in public housing. Susan Pinker, WSJ, "When a Better Neighborhood Is Bad for Boys," 26 Sep. 2018 Treatment programs and adolescent psychiatrists are in short supply, though. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "Teen Vaping Has Created Addicts With Few Treatment Options," 18 Dec. 2018 As advocates for women’s rights, the change-making women have recently teamed up on philanthropic efforts like Girls Alliance, an initiative that supports the education of adolescent girls around the world. Harleen Sidhu, Teen Vogue, "10 Celebrities on How Serena Williams Inspires Them," 12 Dec. 2018 These relationships ranged from the supportive love of sisters, through the enthusiasms of adolescent girls, to sensual avowals of love by mature women. Sara Petersen, Vox, "Why do we stop giving meaningful gifts to our friends?," 3 Dec. 2018 My adolescent riding career was not without its mishaps. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Should You Get Your Kid an ATV?," 9 Nov. 2018 The program focused on recruiting government agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations to invest in adolescent girls’ education around the globe. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Michelle Obama Is Back and Doing What She Does Best—Standing up for Girls," 11 Oct. 2018 Do the quicksilver qualities that can make Ferlinghetti’s poetry so captivating to an adolescent undermine our ability to take it seriously with the passing of years? Jeff Gordinier, New York Times, "For Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Nearly 100, the Beat Goes On," 13 Feb. 2018 Dal Pesco and Fischer picked the two parties with the highest number of adolescent and adult males—24 individuals in all—and tracked those individuals closely for 894 hours. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Some clues about why male Guinea baboons fondle each other’s genitals," 18 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adolescent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adolescent

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adolescent

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin adolēscent-, adolēscens "young man or woman, youth," noun derivative of adolēscens adolescent entry 2

Adjective

borrowed from French & Latin; French, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin adolēscent-, adolēscens, adulēscens "young, youthful," present participle of adolēscere, adulēscere "to become mature, grow up" — more at adult entry 1

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for adolescent

The first known use of adolescent was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for adolescent

adolescent

noun
ad·​o·​les·​cent | \ ˌa-də-ˈle-sᵊnt \

Kids Definition of adolescent

: a person who is no longer a child but not yet an adult

adolescent

noun
ad·​o·​les·​cent | \ -ᵊnt \

Medical Definition of adolescent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that is in the state of adolescence

adolescent

adjective

Medical Definition of adolescent (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being in adolescence

Other Words from adolescent

adolescently adverb

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