mental age

noun

: 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 Others are studying the concept of mental age. Eryn Brown, Discover Magazine, 4 Sep. 2019 Or consider Derek Paravacini, an autistic adult with a mental age of a 3-year-old who is congenitally blind. Simon Baron-Cohen, WSJ, 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, 16 Nov. 2020 At the time, a doctor assessed his mental age to be 16. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, 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, 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, 30 Nov. 2019 Also, size doesn’t always determine mental age or special needs. Lisa Gutierrez, Detroit Free Press, 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, 23 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mental age.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mental age was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near mental age

Cite this Entry

“Mental age.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mental%20age. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

mental age

noun
: 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

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