Definition of delinquent in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈliNGkwənt/


1(Typically of a young person or that person’s behavior) showing or characterized by a tendency to commit crime, particularly minor crime: delinquent children
More example sentences
  • She had been teaching English in the state school system where she often worked with troubled or delinquent children.
  • He was on the cusp of becoming a delinquent teenager when a Christian camp counselor asked if he was going to heaven or hell: He decided at that moment to dedicate his life to Christ.
  • ‘When the previous home was there, which housed delinquent teenagers, they did not feel the need to fence them in like this,’ she added.
lawless, lawbreaking, criminal;
errant, badly behaved, troublesome, difficult, unruly, disobedient, uncontrollable
1.1North American In arrears: delinquent accounts
More example sentences
  • Fortunately, you can collect delinquent receivables and keep your valued clients.
  • The various utilities might then have the leverage to disconnect each other's services in order to ensure recovery of arrear and delinquent accounts.
  • If you failed to make payments and any of your accounts were sent to collection, information about the delinquent accounts appears here.
1.2 formal Failing in one’s duty.
Example sentences
  • Leaflets published outside the country blamed the government, accusing it of being delinquent in carrying out its duties and criticizing the deployment of troops to suppress the uprising.
negligent, neglectful, remiss, irresponsible, lax, slack, derelict


A delinquent person: young delinquents
More example sentences
  • And we are empowering the bullies, the delinquents and the troublemakers.
  • And appeal to young hip-hop delinquents in the process.
  • A team which works with young delinquents has been recognised for its ground-breaking service.
offender, wrongdoer, malefactor, lawbreaker, culprit, criminal;
hooligan, vandal, mischief-maker, ruffian, hoodlum, lowlife, punk;
young offender



Example sentences
  • I think these guys have delinquently failed to update the software map, however.
  • The Commission shall treat all delinquently filed reports not accompanied by the late fee required hereunder as not having been filed.
  • The scheme also included the 1996-2001 tax years, when he delinquently filed returns for those years that included a total tax liability in excess of $1 million.


Late 15th century: from Latin delinquent- 'offending', from the verb delinquere, from de- 'away' + linquere 'to leave'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·lin·quent

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