Definition of adolescent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌadəˈles(ə)nt/


1(Of a young person) in the process of developing from a child into an adult.
Example sentences
  • Pregnancy and child bearing occur before adolescent girls are fully developed, exposing them to great health risks.
  • Dietary supplement use is a well-documented practice among adult and adolescent athletes.
  • Screening to detect problem drinking is recommended in all adult and adolescent patients.
teenage, pubescent, young;
informal teen
1.1Relating to or characteristic of adolescence: his adolescent years adolescent problems
More example sentences
  • To do this they must take into account the characteristics of adolescent behaviour.
  • They speak in an almost matter-of-fact way, recounting the catalogue of bad behaviour that has characterised the adolescent years for Alan.
  • Is it not hard enough to manage these oversized automobiles around the city without the yelling of voices and pushing of adolescent teens?
immature, childish, juvenile, infantile, puerile, jejune


An adolescent boy or girl.
Example sentences
  • Does the government see adolescents and youth as a cohesive group that needs separate attention?
  • Children, adolescents, parents and teachers should be made aware of this problem.
  • The standard of behaviour, especially that of young adolescents, has become a matter of concern.
teenager, youngster, young person, youth, boy, girl;
juvenile, minor
informal teen, teeny-bopper


Late Middle English (as a noun): via French from Latin adolescent- 'coming to maturity', from adolescere, from ad- 'to' + alescere 'grow, grow up', from alere 'nourish'. The adjective dates from the late 18th century.

  • Both adolescent and adult (mid 16th century) come from Latin adolescere, ‘to grow to maturity’. The root of the Latin word is alescere ‘to grow up’, which in turn derives from alere ‘to nourish or give food to’, so the idea of coming to maturity is closely related to the idea of feeding yourself up. See also alimony

Words that rhyme with adolescent

acquiescent, albescent, Besant, coalescent, confessant, convalescent, crescent, depressant, effervescent, erubescent, evanescent, excrescent, flavescent, fluorescent, immunosuppressant, incandescent, incessant, iridescent, juvenescent, lactescent, liquescent, luminescent, nigrescent, obsolescent, opalescent, pearlescent, phosphorescent, pubescent, putrescent, quiescent, suppressant, turgescent, virescent, viridescent

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ad·o·les·cent

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