mental age

noun

Definition of mental age

: a measure used in psychological testing that expresses an individual's mental attainment in terms of the number of years it takes an average child to reach the same level

Examples of mental age in a Sentence

a 40-year-old man with the mental age of 10
Recent Examples on the Web Or consider Derek Paravacini, an autistic adult with a mental age of a 3-year-old who is congenitally blind. Simon Baron-cohen, WSJ, "How Autism and Invention Are Connected," 12 Dec. 2020 Although their exact diagnosis was unknown—at the time, they were just called imbecile—the sisters were said to be severely handicapped and nonverbal and have a mental age of six. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Crown: The Sad, True Story of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret’s Estranged Cousins," 16 Nov. 2020 At the time, a doctor assessed his mental age to be 16. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, "Federal Executions During Covid-19 Put Innocent Lives at Risk," 24 Sep. 2020 Nora had poor motor skills and needed help to walk and her mental age was about 5 or 6 years old, her parents said in the lawsuit. Star Tribune, "Malaysia opens inquest into foreign teen's death near resort," 24 Aug. 2020 Ford in 2004 was jailed for life in the 2003 slaying of Champion, who, though 21, had the mental age of a 15-year-old. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, "One of the men who stopped the London Bridge terrorist is a convicted murderer," 30 Nov. 2019 Also, size doesn’t always determine mental age or special needs. Lisa Gutierrez, Detroit Free Press, "Should teens go trick-or-treating? Facebook post reignites the Halloween debate," 30 Oct. 2017 Adolescents and young adults with severe autism may still have the mental age of a child, and short-term care to stabilize those in crisis who are nonverbal or combative is practically nonexistent. Christina Jewett, CNN, "Families of young people with autism struggle with mental health needs," 23 Oct. 2017 Also, size doesn’t always determine mental age or special needs. Lisa Gutierrez, Detroit Free Press, "Should teens go trick-or-treating? Facebook post reignites the Halloween debate," 30 Oct. 2017

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

1910, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for mental age

Time Traveler

The first known use of mental age was in 1910

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Statistics for mental age

Last Updated

22 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mental age.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental%20age. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for mental age

mental age

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mental age

technical : a measurement of a person's ability to think and understand that is expressed as the age at which an average person reaches the same level of ability

mental age

noun

Medical Definition of mental age

: a measure used in psychological testing that expresses an individual's mental attainment in terms of the number of years it takes an average child to reach the same level

More from Merriam-Webster on mental age

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mental age

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