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[dih-ling-kwuh nt] /dɪˈlɪŋ kwənt/
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 pertaining to delinquents or delinquency:
delinquent attitudes.
a person who is delinquent.
1475-85; < Latin dēlinquent-; see delinquency
Related forms
delinquently, adverb
nondelinquent, adjective
predelinquent, adjective
predelinquently, adverb
undelinquent, adjective
undelinquently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for delinquent
  • By a play on the words, a bum-bailiff was so called, because his duty was to snatch or capture the body of a delinquent.
  • Once a month a "past due" list is sent members indicating distributors and retailers who are delinquent in their bills.
  • Secondary characters include a delinquent bully and a mysterious, benevolent stranger.
  • As a revenue officer, Yancey was charged with collecting taxes from delinquent taxpayers.
  • The perpetrator is an unethical, childish delinquent who deserves to be lambasted for what he did.
  • Five-sixths of the great ranches became tax delinquent.
  • He is not a delinquent type of youngster or destructive kind of youngster.
  • When she didn't pay the duplicate bill, they cut off her service, saying she was delinquent.
  • Thompson was born and grew up in Kentucky, where he was a self-described juvenile delinquent.
  • Eddie is on his way to becoming a juvenile delinquent when he meets Lupe, who changes his world.
British Dictionary definitions for delinquent


someone, esp a young person, guilty of delinquency See 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 Forms
delinquently, adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for delinquent
late 15c., from L. delinquentum (nom. delinquens), prp. of delinquere, from de- "completely" + linquere "to leave" (see relinquish). The adj. and noun are equally old in English.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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