adolescent

noun
ad·​o·​les·​cent | \ ˌa-də-ˈle-sᵊnt How to pronounce adolescent (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some of the latest data, from 2015-’16, shows 10 percent of children and adolescents ages 4 to 17 were diagnosed with ADHD in the US. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Kids who start kindergarten young are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD," 17 Dec. 2018 The 2015-2016 survey included data on 18,107 children and adolescents ages 4 to 17. Fox News, "ADHD diagnoses may be rising in US," 31 Aug. 2018 Scoliosis is a common spinal condition often found in children and adolescents. Dr. Carolyn Kienstra And Dr. Alicia Morrisson, miamiherald, "Scoliosis a common condition that could require medical care," 12 June 2018 His worried parents took him to Seattle Children’s Hospital, which has a psychiatric unit for children and adolescents. NBC News, "Why this family blames mental health system for teen's suicide," 23 Apr. 2018 This new two-part special looks back at the Nazis' indoctrination of young children and adolescents in pre-WWII Germany, as well as Allied efforts to reverse that indoctrination after the war ended. Matt Cooper, latimes.com, "Tuesday's TV highlights: 'Civilizations' and more," 17 Apr. 2018 Pleated surface: Müller and his team scanned the brains of 64 children and adolescents with autism and 64 controls, aged 6 to 18 years. Rachel Zamzow, Scientific American, "Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns," 9 July 2018 For decades, researchers have studied how media consumption is associated with negative body image and the development of disordered eating behavior, especially among adolescents and young women. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "How Should a Health Brand Talk About Weight?," 25 June 2018 Rates of depression in the country are rising, particularly among adolescents and seniors, noted Dr. Sarah Ngyuen, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, but rates of treatment are not. courant.com, "Depression Affects Women At Twice The Rate As Men," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Dan Weiner, a child and adolescent psychotherapist in West Hartford, says for a variety of reasons, our culture increasingly reinforces the expectation of immediate gratification. Teresa M. Pelham, courant.com, "Being Grateful In The Face Of Privilege," 17 Mar. 2018 But underneath all the masturbating with pastry and accidentally ingested semen cocktails, there’s real sentiment to the adolescent boys trying to find their way with women, and vice versa. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 2019 Christian agreed to go to detox for his drug use, then later moved to a house for adolescent boys run by Juconi. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Mexico’s New Focus to Stem Violent Culture: Children," 26 Jan. 2019 In January, Orben published a paper asserting that screen time was no stronger a risk factor for adolescent depression than eating potatoes or wearing eyeglasses. Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 Blakemore breaks down the most up-to-date science on adolescent brain development. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "In the teenage brain, rapidly changing circuitry, not just hormones, explains a lot," 13 May 2018 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 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adolescent

Share adolescent

Statistics for adolescent

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adolescent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adolescent

adolescent

noun
ad·​o·​les·​cent | \ ˌa-də-ˈle-sᵊnt How to pronounce adolescent (audio) \

Kids Definition of adolescent

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

adolescent

noun
ad·​o·​les·​cent | \ -ᵊnt How to pronounce adolescent (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on adolescent

What made you want to look up adolescent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!