Delinquency is a minor crime, especially one committed by a youth. Cutting class all week to drive around town without your license is a sure sign of delinquency.

Delinquency can mean a particular violation, like stealing a car, but it may also refer to a more general trend of acting out and violating the law, like stealing cars daily and crashing them many times over. In this sense it’s often called juvenile delinquency. Another sense of delinquency is general neglect, particularly by someone who holds a formal position. The word can also refer to an unpaid debt. You’re thinking about those unpaid library fines now, right?

Definitions of delinquency
  1. noun
    nonpayment of a debt when due
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    type of:
    default, nonpayment, nonremittal
    loss resulting from failure of a debt to be paid
  2. noun
    a tendency to be negligent and uncaring
    “he inherited his delinquency from his father”
    synonyms: dereliction, willful neglect
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    type of:
    neglect, neglectfulness, negligence
    the trait of neglecting responsibilities and lacking concern
  3. noun
    an antisocial misdeed in violation of the law by a minor
    synonyms: juvenile delinquency
    see moresee less
    type of:
    misbehavior, misbehaviour, misdeed
    improper or wicked or immoral behavior
Word Family

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