[dih-ling-kwuh nt]


failing in or neglectful of a duty or obligation; guilty of a misdeed or offense.
(of an account, tax, debt, etc.) past due; overdue.
of or relating to delinquents or delinquency: delinquent attitudes.


a person who is delinquent.

Nearby words

  1. delineator,
  2. delineavit,
  3. delink,
  4. delinquency,
  5. delinquency, juvenile,
  6. deliquesce,
  7. deliquescence,
  8. deliquescent,
  9. deliration,
  10. deliriant

Origin of delinquent

1475–85; < Latin dēlinquent-; see delinquency

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

Examples from the Web for pre-delinquent

British Dictionary definitions for pre-delinquent



someone, esp a young person, guilty of delinquencySee juvenile delinquent
archaic a person who fails in an obligation or duty


guilty of an offence or misdeed, esp one of a minor nature
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 pre-delinquent



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