Adolescent is just a fancy word for teenager — someone who is no longer a child but is not yet an adult. The word can also be used as an adjective. For example, a particular clothing line might be geared toward adolescent girls.

This word refers to all things related to teens — teenagers are adolescent, and the adolescent stage is after puberty and before adulthood. Since adults don't have a high opinion of teenagers, this word is also an insult. Movies full of fart jokes and immature shenanigans are called adolescent. If one adult says to another "You're acting very adolescent" that means "You're acting childish." Adolescent means something close to juvenile, another word that refers to young people and childish people.

Definitions of adolescent

n a juvenile between the onset of puberty and maturity

stripling, teen, teenager
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a Palestinian juvenile 10-15 years old who fights against the Israelis
a British teenager or young adult in the 1960s; noted for their clothes consciousness and opposition to the rockers
a Mexican-American teenager who belongs to a neighborhood gang and who dresses in showy clothes
punk, punk rocker
a teenager or young adult who is a performer (or enthusiast) of punk rock and a member of the punk youth subculture
a teenager or young adult in the 1960s who wore leather jackets and rode motorcycles
young buck, young man
a teenager or a young adult male
Type of:
juvenile, juvenile person
a young person, not fully developed

adj in the state of development between puberty and maturity

adolescent boys and girls”
not yet mature

adj being of the age 13 through 19

teen, teenage, teenaged
immature, young
(used of living things especially persons) in an early period of life or development or growth

adj displaying or suggesting a lack of maturity

adolescent insecurity”
jejune, juvenile, puerile, sophomoric
characteristic of a lack of maturity

adj relating to or peculiar to or suggestive of an adolescent

adolescent problems”

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