Definition of delinquent in English:



  • 1(typically of a young person) tending to commit crime, particularly minor crime.

    ‘delinquent teenagers’
    • ‘She's also the only proper grown-up on the show, trying to keep her family together as she deals with an unfaithful husband and a delinquent son.’
    • ‘He was on the cusp of becoming a delinquent teenager when a Christian camp counselor asked if he was going to heaven or hell: He decided at that moment to dedicate his life to Christ.’
    • ‘But they are commonly seen as aberrations from a peaceful norm, or as the exceptional behaviour of a few young and delinquent drivers.’
    • ‘She had been teaching English in the state school system where she often worked with troubled or delinquent children.’
    • ‘She was probably some delinquent teenager's mom.’
    • ‘One thinks of Yeats's poem on another delinquent genius, Catullus.’
    • ‘He is a farmer who marries a rich woman from the city and finds life in Athens with her and his delinquent son torturous.’
    • ‘In the aftermath of the incident, his government will have to take quick and resolute steps with thorough probes and punishments of the delinquent officials concerned.’
    • ‘In fact, they mattered more than her wretchedness, even more than my loved, lost and delinquent father who had put us in this situation.’
    • ‘His guess as to how many of the little delinquent brats he works with will wind up in jail: Not too many of them.’
    • ‘Usually, these delinquent mothers are charged by the police and have to serve a sentence.’
    • ‘Punish the delinquent employees and also the people who contaminate the atmosphere.’
    • ‘In his half-mast trousers, short-cut jacket and spiky wig, he looks like a delinquent Jack Horner.’
    • ‘At this level, the authorities must deal with delinquent parents who literally nurture criminals, almost the way other parents work hard to mould their children into decent citizens.’
    • ‘She got a particularly strong ovation, especially from female patrons, when she rendered a ditty about making delinquent fathers support their children.’
    • ‘‘When the previous home was there, which housed delinquent teenagers, they did not feel the need to fence them in like this,’ she added.’
    • ‘The truth is, we're just beginning the real descent into Lawsuit Hell - a place where average citizens injured by delinquent doctors or defective products are denied any recourse.’
    • ‘When we focus only on delinquent students, we allow some of the real culprits in this cycle of school degeneration to escape unscathed.’
    • ‘In some places, he used some harsh language to blame the irresponsible parents for their lack of support for their delinquent children.’
    • ‘The home was intended to provide temporary shelter for dependent and delinquent children until permanent placement in homes or institutions could be arranged.’
    lawless, lawbreaking, criminal, offending
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  • 2formal Failing in one's duty.

    • ‘Leaflets published outside the country blamed the government, accusing it of being delinquent in carrying out its duties and criticizing the deployment of troops to suppress the uprising.’
    negligent, neglectful, remiss, careless of one's duty, irresponsible, lax, slack
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    1. 2.1North American In arrears.
      ‘delinquent accounts’
      • ‘Fortunately, you can collect delinquent receivables and keep your valued clients.’
      • ‘The loan officer agreed to extend the delinquent's due date and offered him an additional $250,000 to get through the rough times.’
      • ‘Loan delinquencies have steadily risen in the past 24 months, to the point where nearly 1 in 20 home loans is delinquent - one of the highest rates in the past decade.’
      • ‘To be precise, the delinquency rates are calculated as the percent of borrowers holding a particular type of credit who are delinquent 30 + days on one or more accounts.’
      • ‘Lower provisions for delinquent loans also helped.’
      • ‘The various utilities might then have the leverage to disconnect each other's services in order to ensure recovery of arrear and delinquent accounts.’
      • ‘It waived millions of dollars in delinquent fees on late-paying cardholders and increased credit limits to cash-starved clients.’
      • ‘Say you've got $20 million in delinquent receivables.’
      • ‘By the end of the year, 10% of the poor quality loans turn seriously delinquent with little chance of collection.’
      • ‘At least 16 per cent are delinquent or in foreclosure, and 4.6 percent actually are in foreclosure.’
      • ‘Proceeds from the sale must be applied first to delinquent rent and, if authorized by the lease, to the costs of packing, moving and storing the property.’
      • ‘Chasing down delinquent accounts is no fun either.’
      • ‘If you failed to make payments and any of your accounts were sent to collection, information about the delinquent accounts appears here.’
      • ‘Wage garnishment is a creditor collection tool that a delinquent debtor can escape by filing for bankruptcy.’
      • ‘In the circumstances, it seems extraordinarily delinquent on the part of the regulators to abrogate their collective responsibilities in this area.’
      • ‘Additionally, house prices continue to appreciate for the time being, lowering the debt/equity ratio and making it less likely that the delinquent homeowners will walk away from their equity.’
      • ‘He also warned that the City would continue to take credit control measures against delinquent accounts.’
      • ‘As that happens, you'll see more companies trolling through tax records, looking for delinquent homeowners to exploit.’
      • ‘Take caution in pursuing delinquent accounts.’
      • ‘A consumer can be delinquent on one account and pay other accounts on schedule.’
      unsettled, outstanding, unresolved, unattended to, due, overdue, owing, owed, receivable, to be paid, payable, undischarged, in arrears, in the red
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  • A delinquent person.

    ‘juvenile delinquents’
    • ‘That is, these mounted men were regarded as tyrannical bullies, delinquents and pests.’
    • ‘And appeal to young hip-hop delinquents in the process.’
    • ‘You wouldn't believe how much trouble those damn delinquents cause.’
    • ‘She was invited to deliver a speech to the young delinquents last December.’
    • ‘It's easy to stereotype all adolescents as alcopop-swigging, hoodie-wearing, dope-smoking delinquents.’
    • ‘The note said if I didn't come home immediately, I'd be consigned to a center for delinquents.’
    • ‘Many teenagers turn rebellious while the sick parent is still alive, sometimes leaving home or they begin running wild with other delinquents.’
    • ‘Civil disobedience of this kind will not land someone in jail, although delinquents will suffer from a high interest penalty.’
    • ‘‘Juvenile delinquents invariably have also had an unhappy time at school,’ he says.’
    • ‘The national economy is facing a new crisis amid growing concerns about the increasing number of credit delinquents and ensuing individual bankruptcies.’
    • ‘Left to their own devices, children become out of control, learn how to manipulate the adults in their circle and can become bullies and delinquents.’
    • ‘‘There is real and present danger not just from cyber delinquents but from cyber criminals and terrorists,’ he said.’
    • ‘And we are empowering the bullies, the delinquents and the troublemakers.’
    • ‘First, stop selling your cars to show-offs and delinquents.’
    • ‘One of the three of us would shin up the steps and tie the cardboard sign about 8ft above the ground so that local delinquents couldn't get at them.’
    • ‘If the education system fails in accomplishing that then it is responsible for the delinquents, the drop-outs, the rejects, the youth suicides.’
    • ‘A team which works with young delinquents has been recognised for its ground-breaking service.’
    • ‘How do we keep the rabble of criminals and delinquents at bay since they now pose a threat to all of us - rich, poor, powerful or inconsequential?’
    • ‘Juvenile delinquents of all races were forced to train as soldiers to fight and kill those who opposed apartheid.’
    • ‘There are also circumstances where delinquents disapprove of criminal offenses as strongly as nondelinquents.’
    offender, wrongdoer, malefactor, lawbreaker, culprit, criminal
    hooligan, vandal, ruffian, hoodlum, lout
    juvenile delinquent, young offender
    juvie, tearaway
    yob, yobbo, chav, hoodie
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Late 15th century: from Latin delinquent- offending, from the verb delinquere, from de- away + linquere to leave.