Definition of grown-up in English:



  • 1Adult.

    ‘Joe is married with two grown-up daughters’
    • ‘His character is a grown-up version of the guy who rang his agent every day in the first movie.’
    • ‘The couple, who have two other grown-up daughters, were determined to help find a cause for the mystery syndrome to prevent other families going through the same agony.’
    • ‘And one day we might be in the privileged position of being friends with our beautiful grown-up daughters.’
    • ‘The father of two grown-up daughters was driving to work at the Co-op Dairy in Norton, South Yorkshire, from his home in Birdwell, Barnsley, when he was attacked.’
    • ‘They are grown-up adults, they know what they are doing, and they have their own lifestyle.’
    • ‘Now Jane is a happy 47-year-old living in Swindon, enjoying family life with her son, who lives with her, and her grown-up daughter.’
    • ‘All these hidden and repressed feelings resurface in times of depression, without the now - grown-up adult being able to understand where they come from.’
    • ‘They have a grown-up son and daughter (infrequently seen) and Dorothy works as a supply teacher.’
    • ‘I have a grown-up daughter from my first marriage.’
    • ‘His wife is a District Commissioner and his grown-up son and daughter also help out.’
    • ‘Between contracts he would return to Britain and relax with his wife and grown-up son and daughter at their home in Cornwall.’
    • ‘Another elderly man held a photograph of his grown-up daughter.’
    • ‘The couple had been married for 40 years after meeting as teenagers and had two grown-up daughters and a grandson.’
    • ‘She has three grown-up children, two daughters and a son, and a grandchild.’
    • ‘I am married and have a grown-up daughter, also married, and I am a normal, respectable and self-respecting person.’
    • ‘An egomaniacal celebrity author lives in Paris with his glamorous young second wife and his shy and unhappy grown-up daughter from his first marriage.’
    • ‘Perhaps it's time we accepted that, yes, Australia may be young and free, but the country is definitely grown-up (although unsated in its taste for parties).’
    • ‘He is still friends with his ex-wife and his two grown-up daughters.’
    • ‘But, child artistes are hardly able to maintain the big deal arising during their childhood as the features of the cute darling changes over into that of the grown-up adult.’
    • ‘Her grown-up son and teenage daughter are not willing to follow her into the job.’
    adult, mature, of age, having reached one's majority
    fully grown, full-grown, fully developed, fully fledged
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Suitable for or characteristic of an adult.
      ‘it seems a grown-up thing to do’
      • ‘If the loch is a magnet for children, he says, it is also suitable for more grown-up pursuits, potentially appealing to those with an interest in conservation.’
      • ‘In this film the characters are more grown-up and it's that bit scarier too.’
      • ‘This party seemed more tailored to a grown-up clique, so I did what all out-of-place people do, I ate all of their pumpkin pie and left early.’
      • ‘Some things that children would never think of however - like lighting - are indispensable factors at a grown-up party.’
      • ‘It's actually quite a nice, grown-up story that takes on some over-the-top characters and complicates them enough to make them seem like a family.’
      • ‘My grown-up mind wishes my daughter's theory of world-changing worked.’
      • ‘At grown-up dinner parties, my mother favoured crown of lamb, the cutlets primly decorated with little paper coronets.’
      • ‘I had hoped for a more grown-up political debate from the governing party.’
      • ‘If she has any sense, she should avail of her apparent estrangement from the party's kindergarten and reinvent herself as a grown-up politician.’
      • ‘And I thought it was going to be a very grown-up dinner party, so I didn't worry about going back to find my light.’


  • An adult (especially a child's word)

    ‘I don't like it when grown-ups get all serious’
    • ‘It's a kind of ‘crossover’ drama aimed at both the teenage market and grown-ups.’
    • ‘They are all grown-ups, with national security credentials and a history of knowing how the government works.’
    • ‘I assume that my readers are grown-ups who can make up their own minds.’
    • ‘But it is getting harder for many grown-ups to stage a fireworks display on fireworks night, too.’
    • ‘But grown-ups won't be the only people wearing these trendy items this spring.’
    • ‘I thought there must have been some conspiracy by all the grown-ups of Britain to buy this record to brainwash their offspring.’
    • ‘It's a sweet, almost anthropological, narrative documentary for grown-ups.’
    • ‘A couple of friends help out, but will parents and other grown-ups find out?’
    • ‘When we were kids, adults always said that sex and sexuality was for grown-ups.’
    • ‘I acted in some plays before, playing grown-ups in Shakespeare and things like that.’
    • ‘Viewed from a distance, it would be easy to imagine that these little girls, all sass and swagger, are grown-ups.’
    • ‘Because of this, grown-ups often find themselves getting a bigger kick out of children's theatre than work aimed at them.’
    • ‘In a festival where easy laughs are mostly the order of the day, this is a serious piece of work that separates the grown-ups from the kids.’
    • ‘The convention was a great social weekend for grown-ups and children alike.’
    • ‘Poverty harms women more than men, and affects children more than grown-ups.’
    • ‘Was there just an unusually rich collection of films this year or has American cinema finally decided to make films for grown-ups?’
    • ‘It's like being sent to bed while the grown-ups talk late into the night.’
    • ‘Also, slightly disappointingly, it diminishes the role of the grown-ups.’
    • ‘Is it too much to ask that designers accept that, far from being baby dolls, most women are grown-ups, and should be dressed as such?’
    • ‘It was full of the kind of grown-ups I wanted to be when I grew up.’
    adult, grown person, grown-up person, mature person
    woman, grown woman, mature woman, man, grown man, mature man, lady, gentleman
    View synonyms