• synonyms


[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.
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  1. a person who is delinquent.
  2. juvenile delinquent.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pre-delinquent

Historical Examples of pre-delinquent

  • The reason is that the pre-delinquent is not attracted by such forms of recreation or healthy pleasure.

    Report of the Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents

    Oswald Chettle Mazengarb et al.

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
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  1. guilty of an offence or misdeed, esp one of a minor nature
  2. failing in or neglectful of duty or obligation
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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper