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

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 Marshall said some of the purses were put together by the students themselves while others were sewn by two adult family members of the school's students who offered to help. Houston Chronicle, "Houston-area students help classmate with diabetes," 14 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With more than 275,000 degree-seeking students, CUNY is celebrated for launching low-income young adults into promising careers. WSJ, "City University of New York Struggles to Fill Top Job," 9 Jan. 2019 Teenage admiration is a different kind of affirmation for an adult male musician. Morgan Jerkins, Teen Vogue, "R. Kelly and Other Powerful Men Have Always Manipulated Their Teen Fans," 9 Jan. 2019 By Margot Lee Shetterly Illustrated by Laura Freeman This children's book is by the same author of the adult non-fiction book that was turned into the blockbuster movie of the same name. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Without question, these are 2018’s best space books for kids," 29 Dec. 2018 Housed in an original Cape Edwardian mansion, the adults-only property offers full-frontal ocean views and one of the best private art collections in South Africa. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Days of Deals: U.S. to Cape Town for $549 Round-Trip," 24 Dec. 2018 Nearly 360 youth and adult volunteers have repaired 54 homes like Santucci’s for free throughout Wallingford and neighboring communities this week. Alison Kuznitz, courant.com, "A Wallingford Mission Trip Brings Together 360 Youth Volunteers To Repair Homes, Communities," 13 July 2018 Housing options might also include condominiums for older adults looking to downsize their living space. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "'Agritopia'-inspired development in works for StoneRidge?," 12 July 2018 For adult Furby collectors, Bansbach says, things will be slightly harder. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Every Furby gets a home," 21 Dec. 2018 That changed Tuesday when the administration ended a policy requiring every adult in households where migrant children will live to provide the government with fingerprints. Garance Burke, The Seattle Times, "AP Investigation: Migrant kids held in mass shelters," 19 Dec. 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

12 Jan 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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