[ uh-duhlt, ad-uhlt ]
/ əˈdʌlt, ˈæd ʌlt /


having attained full size and strength; grown up; mature: an adult person, animal, or plant.
of, relating to, or befitting adults.
intended for adults; not suitable for children: adult entertainment.


a person who is fully grown or developed or of age.
a full-grown animal or plant.
a person who has attained the age of maturity as specified by law.

Nearby words

  1. adularia,
  2. adulate,
  3. adulation,
  4. adulatory,
  5. adullamite,
  6. adult education,
  7. adult fanconi's syndrome,
  8. adult home,
  9. adult medulloepithelioma,
  10. adult onset diabetes

Origin of adult

1525–35; 1925–30 for def 3; < Latin adultus grown (past participle of adolēre to make grow), equivalent to ad- ad- + ul- (identical with base al- in aliment, ol- in prolific) + -tus past participle suffix

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adultlike

British Dictionary definitions for adultlike


/ (ˈædʌlt, əˈdʌlt) /


having reached maturity; fully developed
of or intended for mature peopleadult education
regarded as suitable only for adults, because of being pornographicadult films and magazines


a person who has attained maturity; a grownup
a mature fully grown animal or plant
law a person who has attained the age of legal majority (18 years for most purposes)Compare infant
Derived Formsadulthood, noun

Word Origin for adult

C16: from Latin adultus, from adolēscere to grow up, from alēscere to grow, from alēre to feed, nourish

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for adultlike
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for adultlike


[ ə-dŭlt, ădŭlt ]


One who has attained maturity or legal age.
A fully grown, mature organism.


Fully developed and mature.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.