adult

adjective
\ ə-ˈdəlt How to pronounce adult (audio) , ˈa-ˌdəlt How to pronounce adult (audio) \

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 How to pronounce adulthood (audio) \ noun
adultly \ ə-​ˈdəlt-​lē How to pronounce adultly (audio) , ˈa-​ˌdəlt-​ \ adverb
adultness \ ə-​ˈdəlt-​nəs How to pronounce adultness (audio) , ˈa-​ˌdəlt-​ \ noun

Noun

adultlike \ ə-​ˈdəlt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce adultlike (audio) \ 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

The actor admits that the experience can sometimes alter how adult McGee sees his own career. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'NCIS' Is Revealing More Details About McGee's Troubled Past With His Father," 19 Feb. 2019 After the couple tied the knot officially, Bieber began to take a seriously adult approach to his hair, keeping his buzz cut trim and tidy. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Tracking Justin Bieber’s Hair Evolution, From Teen Pop Star to Married Man," 7 Feb. 2019 Blanca Lydia Galindo was at the office when the doors opened on Saturday, ready to collect remittances from her adult daughters in DC. Martha Mendoza, Fox News, "Salvadoran town deeply rooted in DC unfazed by US politics," 21 Aug. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The top floor is for adults and overlooks the enclosed swimming pool structure. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Three-tiered glass masterpiece asks $16.8M," 26 Dec. 2018 The surgery led to skyrocketing tips and inroads into the adult-film industry. Amy Chozick, Vogue, "Stormy Daniels Isn’t Backing Down," 28 Aug. 2018 In 1970, Schatzi is the adult Alice, a psychologist who has spent four years confined in an asylum, grappling with the pain her father passed on to her. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Flood’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Reviews: Premieres in Pursuit of Reinvention," 11 Feb. 2019 Trouble is a spinoff of the network’s hit show, The Fosters and follows a series of young adults trying to make their way in Los Angeles. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Last Man Standing' Star Molly McCook Is Now Starring on a Totally New TV Show," 9 Feb. 2019 This is an optional subscription service that flags sites containing adult, violent, and other unwanted content and allows parents to decide which kinds of sites their children can visit. Michael Brown, PCWorld, "Belkin takes the wraps off its Linksys Max Stream AC2200 Wi-Fi router," 7 Jan. 2019 According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), less than 20 percent of adults with ADHD have been diagnosed or treated, and of those, only about a quarter ever seek help. Kayleigh Roberts, Allure, "Why Women With ADHD Like Me Get Diagnosed So Late in Adulthood," 25 Oct. 2018 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

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 Mar 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 How to pronounce adult (audio) , 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 How to pronounce adult (audio) , ˈad-ˌəlt How to pronounce adult (audio) \

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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