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

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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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The government dismisses them as delinquents and says police have to respond when students disrupt traffic. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: University becomes refuge in Nicaragua unrest," 5 July 2018 The suspect is being tried in juvenile court as a juvenile delinquent, which is defined by Indiana law as an individual under 18 who is arrested or breaks the law. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Noblesville shooting: Here's what could happen next for the suspect," 18 June 2018 Carroll's program notes liken the 1960 feature Everything Goes Wrong—about a juvenile delinquent who plans to frame his mother's boyfriend in a crime—to Nagisa Oshima's Cruel Story of Youth, which was released around the same time. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Do This / Film / Foreign Doc Films showcases the lesser-known work of Japanese director Seijun Suzuki," 5 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Most of the vacant lots are in areas hit hard by the 2008 foreclosure crisis and are delinquent on taxes. Corilyn Shropshire, chicagotribune.com, "Cook County selling nearly 3,200 vacant lots to encourage redevelopment," 1 May 2018 Students with delinquent accounts, though, will still be served food. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "How states and crowdfunding are tackling the growing problem of student lunch debt," 27 Dec. 2018 The wrangling over Bella Collina legal fees is the latest in years of litigation between property owners and the developer, who prevailed in about 400 lawsuits against property owners who were delinquent paying on association fees. Mary Shanklin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Bella Collina owners ordered to pay developers' legal bills," 27 Apr. 2018 But Bryce’s history of nine arrests, including for drunken driving, and being delinquent on child support to his ex-wife, could complicate his path to the seat. Lisa Lerer, The Seattle Times, "Primary night takeaways: Diverse Democrats and Trump wins," 14 Aug. 2018 To my knowledge, although the process differs from state to state, every condo association has the right to file a lien against the delinquent owner’s unit. Benny L. Kass, chicagotribune.com, "You think your for-sale house is haunted. Do you have to tell potential buyers?," 14 Dec. 2017 The share of mortgages in the Las Vegas area that are 30 days or more delinquent was just 3.9% in September compared to nearly 25% at the bottom of the last housing crash, according to CoreLogic Inc. Laura Kusisto, WSJ, "Las Vegas Housing Weakness Signals the Slowdown Is Spreading," 13 Dec. 2018 One story on the City Living Seattle website says the park, alongside Lake Washington, was originally the site of a boarding school for delinquent girls known as The Martha Washington School for Insane Girls. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "Teens went ghost hunting in 'haunted' park. One didn't make it out alive, police say," 4 June 2018 The share of debt considered to be seriously delinquent, meaning payment is at least 90 days late, edged higher for auto loans in the third quarter, to 4.27% from 4.17% in the second quarter. Harriet Torry, WSJ, "U.S. Household Debt Continues to Climb in 3rd Quarter," 16 Nov. 2018

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.

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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).

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

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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

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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

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