1

adult

adjective \ ə-ˈdəlt , ˈa-ˌdəlt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of adult

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

adulthood

play \ə-ˈdəlt-ˌhu̇d\ noun

adultly

play \ə-ˈdəlt-lē, ˈa-ˌdəlt-\ adverb

adultness

play \ə-ˈdəlt-nəs, ˈa-ˌdəlt-\ noun

Examples of adult in a Sentence

  1. preparing children for adult life

  2. We need to approach this in an adult way.

Recent Examples of adult from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of adult

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 1old


2

adult

noun

Definition of adult

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

adultlike

play \ə-ˈdəlt-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of adult in a Sentence

  1. Her books appeal both to children and to adults.

  2. Children must be accompanied by an adult in the museum.

  3. Only adults can purchase alcohol.

  4. This film is for adults only. Minors are not admitted.

  5. People who are close friends as children aren't always friends as adults.

  6. studying interactions between young birds and adults

Recent Examples of adult from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of adult

derivative of 1adult

adult Synonyms



ADULT Defined for English Language Learners

adult

adjective

Definition of adult for English Language Learners

  • : fully grown and developed

  • : mature and sensible : not childish

  • : of or intended for adults


adult

noun

Definition of adult for English Language Learners

  • : a fully grown person or animal


ADULT Defined for Kids

1

adult

adjective \ ə-ˈdəlt , ˈa-ˌdəlt \

Definition of adult for Students

:fully developed and mature
  • adult birds

2

adult

noun

Definition of adult for Students

:a fully grown person, animal, or plant

Medical Dictionary

1

adult

adjective \ ə-ˈdəlt , ˈad-ˌəlt \

medical Definition of adult

:fully developed and mature

2

adult

noun

medical Definition of adult

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)

Law Dictionary

adult

noun

legal Definition of adult

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


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