adult

adjective
\ ə-ˈdəlt , ˈa-ˌdəlt \

Definition of adult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : fully developed and mature : grown-up an adult lion
2 : of, relating to, intended for, or befitting adults an adult approach to a problem
3 : dealing in or with explicitly sexual material adult bookstores adult movies

adult

noun

Definition of adult (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is adult especially : a human being after an age (such as 21) specified by law

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Other Words from adult

Adjective

adulthood \ ə-​ˈdəlt-​ˌhu̇d \ noun
adultly \ ə-​ˈdəlt-​lē , ˈa-​ˌdəlt-​ \ adverb
adultness \ ə-​ˈdəlt-​nəs , ˈa-​ˌdəlt-​ \ noun

Noun

adultlike \ ə-​ˈdəlt-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for adult

Synonyms: Adjective

grown-up, mature

Synonyms: Noun

grown-up

Antonyms: Adjective

adolescent, immature

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Examples of adult in a Sentence

Adjective

preparing children for adult life We need to approach this in an adult way.

Noun

Her books appeal both to children and to adults. Children must be accompanied by an adult in the museum. Only adults can purchase alcohol. This film is for adults only. Minors are not admitted. People who are close friends as children aren't always friends as adults. studying interactions between young birds and adults
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Tyson processing facilities were among those found in a 2016 OxFam report to offer workers few breaks and little safety oversight, conditions so bleak that some workers wore adult diapers or urinated on themselves to keep up. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Tyson Foods Recalls Frozen Chicken for Possible Plastic Contamination," 10 June 2018 Tourism, Stem-Cell Research and More Uses for Microgravity Companies are using the International Space Station to 3D-print human organs with adult stem cells, which could be an absolute game changer for life on Earth. Henry Williams, WSJ, "NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Life off Earth," 3 Jan. 2019 The plan would cut visa categories for married adult children of US citizens and adult siblings of US citizens. Tal Kopan, CNN, "House DACA deal in final stages: 'Crossing the Ts'," 13 June 2018 Even though Secret Service security detail is offered to the president’s immediate family by law, adult children are not required to use this service. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Are Spending Taxpayer Money on Security for Their Vacations," 14 Dec. 2018 For obvious reasons, Jack doesn’t share a lot of screen time with his adult children, but thanks to dream sequences and hallucinations there are rare exceptions. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Recap: Jack and an Adult Kate Appeared Together for the First Time and It Was Emotional," 10 Oct. 2018 Two of what appeared to be adult family members and an infant were in court Friday but left without commenting to news reporters. John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Cudahy woman charged with promoting ISIS and suggesting attacks on festivals, churches held without bail," 15 June 2018 The Youth Council has its own meeting schedule, although adult council members supervise their activity. Gregory Tejeda, Post-Tribune, "Gary introduces new members of city's Youth Council," 17 May 2018 The new entity, the Probation Oversight Commission, will have dedicated staff, its own budget and oversight of both juvenile and adult services. Nina Agrawal, latimes.com, "County leaders approve new watchdog for Probation Department," 2 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Mantis weighs under 2,300 pounds thanks to a lightweight steel and aluminum frame, measures 18-feet-long, and boasts enough room to comfortably sleep four adults. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 5 best campers for people with kids," 30 Nov. 2018 Like nearly 10 percent of women, Beim has lived with endometriosis her whole adult life. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "This Company Wants Your Fertility Data," 13 July 2018 This year's crop of our favorite small screen moments reflects that diversity, from network sitcoms and prestige dramas to adult animated series and sci-fi favorites—and pretty much everything in between. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 The Reuters article, by Lisa Girion, focuses heavily on reports and testing that J&J did in the 1970s on both its baby powder and its Shower to Shower product that was marketed to adults. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "Johnson & Johnson accused of hiding the asbestos in its baby powder for decades," 14 Dec. 2018 Most important for young adults furnishing their homes is the cost of stylish, comfortable furniture. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This Custom Furniture Company Promises Quick Shipping, Affordable Prices, and—Gasp—10-Minute Assembly," 6 Dec. 2018 Prices start at $40 for adults for the basic tour, and go up to $169 for the Ultimate VIP package, which includes stops at all the must-see activities. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'Christmas at Graceland' Was Filmed at Elvis Presley's Home in Memphis," 17 Nov. 2018 The misperception that bullying is a schoolyard issue, not something that happens to adults, also contributes to the self-doubt that so many targets feel. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 2018 Ride sharing and ride hailing is becoming an alternative to owning a private car, thanks to Uber and Lyft, leading to fewer young adults owning personal automobiles. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why valet parking is the future of smarter urban transit," 6 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adult.' 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 adult

Adjective

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1655, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adult

Adjective

borrowed from French & Latin; French adulte, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin adultus, from past participle of adolēscere, adulēscere "to become mature, grow up," from ad- ad- + alēscere "to be nourished, grow up," probably inchoative derivative of *alēre "to grow," stative derivative of alere "to nurse, feed, nourish" — more at old entry 1

Noun

derivative of adult entry 1

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Statistics for adult

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adult

The first known use of adult was in 1531

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More Definitions for adult

adult

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of adult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: fully grown and developed
: mature and sensible : not childish
: of or intended for adults

adult

noun

English Language Learners Definition of adult (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fully grown person or animal

adult

adjective
\ ə-ˈdəlt , ˈa-ˌdəlt\

Kids Definition of adult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: fully developed and mature adult birds

adult

noun

Kids Definition of adult (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fully grown person, animal, or plant

adult

adjective
\ ə-ˈdəlt , ˈad-ˌəlt \

Medical Definition of adult

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: fully developed and mature

adult

noun

Medical Definition of adult (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one that has arrived at full development or maturity especially in size, strength, or intellectual capacity
2 : a human male or female after a specific age (as 18 or 21)

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adult

noun

Legal Definition of adult

: a person who has reached an age specified by law — compare child, infant, minor

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More from Merriam-Webster on adult

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adult

Spanish Central: Translation of adult

Nglish: Translation of adult for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adult for Arabic Speakers

Comments on adult

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excited commotion or publicity

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