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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or undergoing adolescence. See Synonyms at young.
  • adj. Characteristic of adolescence; immature: an adolescent sense of humor.
  • n. A young person who has undergone puberty but who has not reached full maturity; a teenager.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characteristic of, or relating to, or undergoing adolescence; immature.
  • n. A teenager; a juvenile after puberty

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Growing; advancing from childhood to maturity.
  • n. A youth.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Growing up; advancing from childhood to manhood or womanhood; youthful.
  • n. One who is growing up; a person of either sex during the period of adolescence.
  • In physical geography, noting that stage of land-sculpture, between youth and maturity, in which some rapids still remain even in the larger streams.

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

  • adj. relating to or peculiar to or suggestive of an adolescent
  • adj. displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity
  • n. a juvenile between the onset of puberty and maturity
  • adj. in the state of development between puberty and maturity
  • adj. being of the age 13 through 19


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

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin adolēscēns, adolēscent-, present participle of adolēscere, to grow up : ad-, ad- + alēscere, to grow, inchoative of alere, to nourish; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested 1482, from Middle French adolescent, from Latin adolescentem, accusative form of adolescens, present participle of adolescere ("to become adult, grow up"), from ad- ("to") + alescere ("to grow or become nourished"). The adjective first appeared in 1785.



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  • Actually, in this case I think it's just defining the adjectival use in terms of the noun use.

    October 11, 2008

  • The Weirdnet paradox is back! Compare with shoddy.

    October 10, 2008