Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who has attained maturity or legal age.
  • n. Biology A fully grown, mature organism.
  • adj. Fully developed and mature.
  • adj. Relating to, intended for, or befitting adults: adult education.
  • adj. Containing or dealing in explicitly sexual material; pornographic: adult movies; adult bookstores.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fully grown human or animal.
  • n. A person who lives outside the parental home.
  • adj. Of a human or animal, fully grown.
  • adj. Intended for adults rather than children.
  • adj. Containing material of an explicit sexual nature

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Having arrived at maturity, or to full size and strength; matured
  • n. A person, animal, or plant grown to full size and strength; one who has reached maturity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having arrived at mature years, or attained full size and strength: as, an adult person, animal, or plant.
  • Pertaining or relating to adults; suitable for an adult: as, adult age; an adult school.
  • n. A person or (sometimes) an animal grown to full size and strength; one who has reached the age of manhood or womanhood.
  • n. Specifically: In civil law, a male infant who has attained the age of fourteen, or a female infant who has attained the age of twelve.
  • n. In common law, one of the full age of twenty-one.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a fully developed person from maturity onward
  • n. any mature animal
  • adj. designed to arouse lust
  • adj. (of animals) fully developed

Etymologies

From Latin adultus, past participle of adolēscere, to grow up; see adolescent.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French adulte, Latin adultus ("grown up"), past participle of adolescere ("to grow up"); see adolescent. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • WORDS ACCENTED ON THE LAST SYLLABLE: address _address'_ adept _adept'_ adult _adult'_ ally _ally'_ commandant _commandänt '(ä as in arm) _ contour _contour'_ dessert _dessert'_ dilate _dilate'_ excise _eksiz'_ finance _finance'_ grimace _grimace'_ importune _importune'_ occult _occult'_ pretence _pretence'_ research _research'_ robust _robust'_ romance _romance'_ tirade _tirade'_

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • In 1980, when the term adult child of alcoholic, ACOA was coined, ACOAs literally came out of the woodwork, testifying in droves to confusion, resentment...

    Dr. Tian Dayton: What is an ACOA

  • In 1980, when the term adult child of alcoholic, ACOA was coined, ACOAs literally came out of the woodwork, testifying in droves to confusion, resentment and hurt that the child within them still hung onto.

    Dr. Tian Dayton: What is an ACOA

  • Please use the term adult offspring in your online expectorations.

    The Spring Break Nostalgia Café.

  • "When it comes to the term adult soft drink, taste is a priority," claimed Dewey.

    BeverageDaily RSS

  • /You have already to a great extent targeted the population since the word adult is used.

    Help Organising An Adult Literacy Program….urgent !!? « Adult Literacy-2 « Literacy Help « Literacy News

  • The kid understood or at least gave the appearance of understanding, but the years passed and he became what they call an adult and the rats in his mind are still dead, still young.

    The Appearance of Understanding

  • Reznor walks me into what he calls his "adult playpen of knob-twiddling": a small garage converted into an Aladdin's cave of instruments, mixing desks and synthesizer modules, their lights winking in the dark.

    Trent Reznor: 'I'm not at war with myself as I once was'

  • You know, there's pop; there's what they call adult contemporary, whatever that may be; and then there's like Sting music.

    Bassist Christian McBride, Plying the Bottom Groove

  • If he's sentenced to prison, which is the most likely outcome if he is convicted, it will be in the hands of what we call the adult authority, which run the prisons themselves.

    CNN Transcript Jun 13, 2005

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