delinquent

noun
de·​lin·​quent | \ di-ˈliŋ-kwənt How to pronounce delinquent (audio) , -ˈlin-\

Definition of delinquent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a usually young person who regularly performs illegal or immoral acts

delinquent

adjective

Definition of delinquent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : offending by neglect or violation of duty or of law … were clearly delinquent in not immediately alerting Western Europe to the accident …— Richard Wilson
2 : being overdue in payment a delinquent charge account … efforts to crack down on parents delinquent in child-support payments …— Todd S. Purdum
3 : of, relating to, or characteristic of people who regularly perform illegal or immoral acts : marked by delinquency (see delinquency sense 1b) delinquent behavior

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from delinquent

Adjective

delinquently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for delinquent

Synonyms: Adjective

behind, behindhand, belated, late, latish, overdue, tardy

Antonyms: Adjective

early, inopportune, precocious, premature, unseasonable, untimely

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of delinquent in a Sentence

Noun

a group of violent delinquents

Adjective

a school for delinquent children His delinquent behavior could lead to more serious problems. The town is trying to collect delinquent taxes.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are two payments due each fiscal year, with the last one considered delinquent after April 10. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Property taxes due in 10 days or risk default," 20 June 2019 Or what the Fourth of July used to be like with the young delinquent down the street. Chris Erskine, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A speedway, a spectacle, a sensational Saturday night," 20 June 2019 The statement also said that through the weeks of protests delinquents and others have been arrested among demonstrators with some trying to steal, harass or be aggressive, the official APS news agency reported. Nadine Achoui-lesage, The Seattle Times, "Clashes mar peaceful protests as Algerians march anew," 12 Apr. 2019 In contrast to 2015, there were no new steel company bond defaults in 2018 excluding previous delinquents, according to data from Wind. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Chinese Overcapacity Returns to Haunt Global Industry," 10 Jan. 2019 Keven Paul Mejia, a 27-year-old former security guard from the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, said there were some delinquents traveling with the group of several thousand who smoke marijuana and get drunk. Julie Watson, The Seattle Times, "Caravan migrants weigh options after court blocks Trump ban," 20 Nov. 2018 For one thing, Richard Beymer as Tony is perhaps the most ineffectual leading man in any major Hollywood musical, and for another, those ballet dancers pretending to be juvenile delinquents never seemed the least bit threatening. Will Friedwald, WSJ, "‘West Side Story Reimagined’ Review: A Kaleidoscope of Latin Jazz," 16 July 2018 Five firefighters finally had to tranquilize the furry delinquent. Dasl Yoon, WSJ, "That Raccoon Rooting Through Your Trash Could Be a Big Star in Seoul," 7 Nov. 2018 Ortega’s government has dismissed opponents as delinquents attempting a coup d’etat and wanted to quell unrest in Masaya before Thursday’s three-month anniversary of the start of protests across Nicaragua. Christopher Sherman, The Seattle Times, "Nicaraguan forces violently retake symbolic city," 17 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Investors fly into the county each October to bid on tax-delinquent properties in a local gymnasium. Lizzie Presser, ProPublica, "The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It.," 15 July 2019 Among credit cards, for example, only 3% of accounts now are delinquent, below the pre-recession average of 4.3%, reported the American Bankers Association. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "After a decade of expanding economy, are you better off?," 14 July 2019 The county treasurer is responsible for collecting delinquent property taxes, and has the authority to foreclose on owners who don't pay their taxes and sell that real estate at auction. Julie Heng, Detroit Free Press, "Wayne County Ethics Board dismisses complaint against treasurer," 10 July 2019 The San Antonio Express-News reported last year that Vysk been hit with hundreds of thousands of dollars in court judgments and had amassed more than $2.2 million in delinquent payroll taxes. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "Loss of patents marks latest woes for San Antonio tech startup," 21 June 2019 In an interview, Mr. Medina, 50, dismissed any complaints against him as bitterness from delinquent borrowers. Brian M. Rosenthal, New York Times, "Notorious Debt Collector in Taxi Industry Is Arrested," 2 July 2019 Attorneys who represent delinquent youth say these cases are outliers. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "Department of Child Safety doesn't want to house youth who have committed crimes. New law gives time to find alternatives," 27 June 2019 The firm has been a big buyer of once-delinquent precrisis mortgages that borrowers had started making payments on again, known as reperforming loans. Ben Eisen, WSJ, "Mortgage Bond That Vanished During Financial Crisis Is Back," 24 June 2019 The suit alleged that the borrower became delinquent after one payment and that the government paid a $487,010.33 insurance claim as a result. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Quicken Loans settles with Federal Housing Authority in fraudulent lending case," 14 June 2019

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for delinquent

Noun

earlier, "person failing in a duty, offender," borrowed from Middle French delinquant, noun derivative from present participle of delinquer "to commit an offense," borrowed from Latin dēlinquere "to be lacking, fall short of an approved standard, misbehave, commit (an offense)" — more at delinquent entry 2

Adjective

borrowed from Latin dēlinquent-, dēlinquens, present participle of dēlinquere "to be lacking, fall short of an approved standard, misbehave, commit (an offense)," from dē- de- + linquō, linquere (perfect līquī) "to go away from, leave, leave behind, abandon, desist from," going back to Indo-European *li-n-kw-/*li-né-kw- "leaves behind" (whence also Sanskrit riṇákti "[s/he] leaves behind," Avestan irinaxti, Old Irish léicid "[s/he] lets go, leaves behind"), ar-léici "[s/he] lets go, releases, lends," present tense derivative from the base *lei̯kw- "leave behind, distance oneself from," whence also, with varying ablaut, Greek leípō, leípein (aorist élipon) "to leave, quit, be missing," Armenian likʼ "(s/he) left, let go," Old Prussian polāikt "to remain," Lithuanian liekù, lìkti, Germanic *līhwan- "to grant, lend" (whence Old English lēon "to lend, grant," Old Saxon farlīhan, Old High German līhan, Old Norse ljá, Gothic leihwan "to lend")

Note: The specialization of sense in Germanic (from "leave behind" to "lend") is distinctive and has been variously explained. Attention has been drawn to the derivative *laihna- "something lent," perhaps from "something left as a legacy," with apparent counterparts in Indo-Iranian (see loan entry 1), and it has been argued that the noun's influence has restricted the meaning of the verb (see Antoine Meillet, "Sur le suffixe indo-européen *-nes-," Mémoires de la Société Linguistique de Paris, tome 15 [1908-09], pp. 254-56).

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about delinquent

Statistics for delinquent

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for delinquent

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for delinquent

delinquent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of delinquent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a young person who regularly does illegal or immoral things

delinquent

adjective

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

: doing things that are illegal or immoral
: not paid at the required or expected time
: failing to pay an amount of money that is owed

delinquent

noun
de·​lin·​quent | \ di-ˈliŋ-kwənt How to pronounce delinquent (audio) \

Kids Definition of delinquent

: a usually young person who is guilty of improper or illegal behavior

delinquent

noun
de·​lin·​quent | \ -kwənt How to pronounce delinquent (audio) \

Medical Definition of delinquent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a transgressor against duty or the law especially in a degree not constituting crime specifically : juvenile delinquent

delinquent

adjective

Medical Definition of delinquent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : offending by neglect or violation of duty or of law
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of delinquents : marked by delinquency

Other Words from delinquent

delinquently adverb

Keep scrolling for more

delinquent

noun
de·​lin·​quent | \ di-ˈliŋ-kwənt How to pronounce delinquent (audio) \

Legal Definition of delinquent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a delinquent person especially : juvenile delinquent

delinquent

adjective

Legal Definition of delinquent (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : offending by neglect or violation of duty or law delinquent acts
b : characterized by juvenile delinquency delinquent youth
2 : being overdue in payment delinquent taxes was delinquent in his child support payments

History and Etymology for delinquent

Adjective

Latin delinquent-, delinquens, present participle of delinquere to commit (an offense), err

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on delinquent

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!