[ 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.

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

OTHER WORDS FROM adult Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for subadult

British Dictionary definitions for subadult

/ (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 forms of adult

adulthood, 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

Medical definitions for subadult

[ 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.