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mental age

noun, Psychology
1.
the level of native mental ability or capacity of an individual, usually as determined by an intelligence test, in relation to the chronological age of the average individual at this level:
a ten-year-old child with the mental age of a twelve-year-old; a mental age of twelve.
Compare achievement age.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mental age
  • Bear in mind that the mental age of some people can be lower than their physical age.
British Dictionary definitions for mental age

mental age

noun
1.
(psychol) the mental ability of a child, expressed in years and based on a comparison of his test performance with the performance of children with a range of chronological ages See also intelligence quotient
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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mental age in Medicine

mental age n.
Abbr. MA, M.A.
A measure of mental development as determined by intelligence tests, generally restricted to children and expressed as the age at which that level is typically attained.

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

intelligence test score, expressed as the chronological age for which a given level of performance is average or typical. An individual's mental age is then divided by his chronological age and multiplied by 100, yielding an intelligence quotient (IQ). Thus, a subject whose mental and chronological ages are identical has an IQ of 100, or average intelligence. However, if a 10-year-old has a mental age of 13, his IQ is 130, well above average. Since the average mental age of adults does not increase past age 18, an adult taking an IQ test is assigned the chronological age of 18

Learn more about mental age with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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