[dih-ling-kwuh nt]
  1. failing in or neglectful of a duty or obligation; guilty of a misdeed or offense.
  2. (of an account, tax, debt, etc.) past due; overdue.
  3. of or relating to delinquents or delinquency: delinquent attitudes.
  1. a person who is delinquent.
  2. juvenile delinquent.

Origin of delinquent

1475–85; < Latin dēlinquent-; see delinquency
Related formsde·lin·quent·ly, adverbnon·de·lin·quent, adjectivepre·de·lin·quent, adjectivepre·de·lin·quent·ly, adverbun·de·lin·quent, adjectiveun·de·lin·quent·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for delinquently


  1. someone, esp a young person, guilty of delinquencySee juvenile delinquent
  2. archaic a person who fails in an obligation or duty
  1. guilty of an offence or misdeed, esp one of a minor nature
  2. failing in or neglectful of duty or obligation
Derived Formsdelinquently, adverb

Word Origin for delinquent

C17: from Latin dēlinquēns offending; see delinquency
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 delinquently



late 15c., from Middle French délinquant, from present participle of délinquer (15c.), and directly from Latin delinquentum (nominative delinquens), present participle of delinquere "to fail; be wanting, fall short; offend," from de- "completely" (see de-) + linquere "to leave" (see relinquish). As an adjective, from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper