Definition of delinquency in English:

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Pronunciation: /dɪˈlɪŋkw(ə)nsi/

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).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: de|lin|quency

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