A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ad-l-es-uh nt] /ˌæd lˈɛs ənt/
growing to manhood or womanhood; youthful.
having the characteristics of adolescence or of an adolescent.
an adolescent person.
1475-85; < Latin adolēscent- (stem of adolēscēns growing up, present participle of adolēscere), equivalent to adol(ē)- (see adult) + -ēsc- -esce + -ent- -ent
Related forms
adolescently, adverb
postadolescent, adjective, noun
subadolescent, adjective, noun
Can be confused
adolescence, adolescents (see synonym study at adolescent)
1. immature, young. 3. youth, teenager, minor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for adolescents
  • Children and adolescents who take medications should be followed by a doctor for side effects.
  • Scientists find clues to why adolescents seek out and find trouble.
  • So laws that stop troubled adolescents from getting hold of loaded weapons must surely do some good.
  • According to a new study, when it comes to smoking, adolescents may be emulating the movie stars they see on the big screen.
  • He then reviews a fascinating series of papers studying social behavior starting in toddlers and running up through adolescents.
  • Part of the controversy concerns the diagnostic criteria used for children and adolescents.
  • The well-substantiated finding that adolescents go to bed later and later as they age is not the fault of advertising.
  • Here it's about expending the user base, allowing the entire family to play together instead of only the adolescents of the house.
  • Gingivitis, in varying degrees, is nearly a universal finding in children and adolescents.
  • Psychotherapy for children and adolescents does not generally receive much attention from the public.
British Dictionary definitions for adolescents


of or relating to adolescence
(informal) behaving in an immature way; puerile
an adolescent person
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
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Word Origin and History for adolescents



mid-15c., "youth, young man," from Middle French adolescent (15c.) or directly from Latin adolescentem (nominative adolescens) "growing, near maturity, youthful," present participle of adolescere "grow up, come to maturity, ripen," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + alescere "be nourished," hence, "increase, grow up," inchoative of alere "to nourish" (see old). Adolesce was a back-formed verb used early 20c. by H.G. Wells, G.B. Shaw, Louis MacNeice, but it seems not to have taken.


1785, from Latin adolescentem (nominative adolescens) "growing, near maturity, youthful," present participle of adolescere "grow up, come to maturity, ripen" (see adolescent (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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adolescents in Medicine

adolescent ad·o·les·cent (ād'l-ěs'ənt)
Of, relating to, or undergoing adolescence. n.
A young person who has undergone puberty but who has not reached full maturity; a teenager.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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