ad ‧ o ‧ les ‧ cent /ˌædəˈles ə nt◂/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: French ; Origin: Latin , present participle of adolescere ; ⇨ ↑ adult 2 ]
a young person, usually between the ages of 12 and 18, who is developing into an adult
—adolescent adjective :
⇨ ↑ child
• • •
▪ child someone who is not yet an adult. You don’t usually use child to talk about babies or teenagers:
Many children are scared of the dark.
He’s just a child.
▪ kid informal a child. Kid is the usual word to use in everyday spoken English:
We left the kids in the car.
▪ little boy/little girl a young male or female child:
I lived there when I was a little girl.
Little boys love dinosaurs.
▪ teenager someone between the ages of 13 and 19:
There’s not much for teenagers to do around here.
▪ adolescent a young person who is developing into an adult – used especially when talking about the problems these people have:
He changed from a cheerful child to a confused adolescent.
▪ youth especially disapproving a teenage boy – especially one who is violent and commits crimes:
He was attacked by a gang of youths.
a youth court
▪ youngster a child or young person – used especially by old people:
You youngsters have got your whole life ahead of you.
He’s a bright youngster with a good sense of humour.
▪ minor law someone who is not yet legally an adult:
It is illegal to sell alcohol to a minor.