Definition of delinquency in English:


Syllabification: de·lin·quen·cy
Pronunciation: /diˈliNGkwənsē

noun (plural delinquencies)

  • 1Minor crime, especially that committed by young people: social causes of crime and delinquency
    More example sentences
    • Gender is no barrier to delinquency and crime committed by youth.
    • Crime and delinquency among our young people would have been at a minimum today if heads of all religious faiths and homes had the respect and admiration of those under their charge.
    • Media reports on youth crime and delinquency regularly paint a picture of undisciplined and dangerous young people with negative attitudes towards authority.
    crime, wrongdoing, lawbreaking, lawlessness, misconduct, misbehavior; misdemeanors, offenses, misdeeds
  • 1.1 formal Neglect of one’s duty: he relayed this in such a manner as to imply grave delinquency on the host’s part
    More example sentences
    • The folks at are charged with contributing to the delinquency of the film-makers, who were likely duped into believing this could become a satisfying monster movie.
    negligence, dereliction of duty, irresponsibility
  • 1.2chiefly US A failure to pay an outstanding debt.
    More example sentences
    • However, an increase in total consumer debt increases revolving delinquencies.
    • That could lead to more mortgage delinquencies or defaults.
    • This theorem accounts for both the unexplainable growth in outstandings and the lack of delinquencies!


mid 17th century: from ecclesiastical Latin delinquentia, from Latin delinquent- 'offending' (see delinquent).

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