Share this entry
delinquency Line breaks: de|lin|quency
Pronunciation: /dɪˈlɪŋkw(ə)nsi/

Definition of delinquency in English:

noun (plural delinquencies)

[mass noun]
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.
2 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.
2.1 [count noun] chiefly US A failure to pay an outstanding debt by the due date.
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).

Definition of delinquency in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources