de·lin·quent (dĭ-lĭngkwənt, -lĭn-)
1. Failing to do what law or duty requires.
2. Overdue in payment: a delinquent account.
1. A juvenile delinquent.
2. A person who neglects or fails to do what law or duty requires.
[Latin dēlinquēns, dēlinquent-, present participle of dēlinquere, to offend : dē-, de- + linquere, to leave, abandon; see leikw- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.