[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

Examples from the Web for pre-delinquent

Historical Examples of pre-delinquent

British Dictionary definitions for pre-delinquent


  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 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