Meaning of ADOLESCENT in English

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 :

adolescent girls

⇨ ↑ 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.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.