In biological terms, usually refers to an organism mature enough to reproduce. In human political terms, refers to someone who is older than some arbitrary age that is supposed to convey mental and emotional maturity.

The word "adult" is also used as an adjective to describe things which are considered inappropriate for children, such as "adult movies" or "adult beverages".

Adult, n. A person who takes responsibility for his/her own actions. Contrast with a grown-up, who is merely responsible for his/her own welfare.

Adults are very different beasts from the children they once were. Becoming an adult is far more than growing older. A adult has to take responsibility for all their actions and in doing so many of them feel they have to put away childish ways. They close themselves off from the open-minded playfullness and exploration they once knew as a child, forgetting that life was meant to be enjoyed, not suffered through.

None of my friends are adults. They are all responsible children. And, I wouldn't have it any other way.

What is an adult?

Is it someone who has passed a certain age, or is it someone who has demonstrated respect for others, responsibility in dealing with others, and self-sufficiency in the lack of external authority.

We label an 18 year old an adult, yet we withhold the privilege to drink alcohol until the age of 21. Why? Because the federal government refused to give the individual states money for the improvement of highways unless states raised the legal drinking age to 21 years of age. This was done because politicians thought that fewer intoxicated teenaged drivers would make our highways safer. How does our government justify declaring that a child becomes an adult on his or her 18th birthday, and then try 16 and 17 year olds that are accused of serious crimes, as adults? The government seems to realize that the arbitrary mark is unrealistic and uses a marker of whether that child is able to understand the consequences of his or her actions. I would argue that a person who knows the consequences of his or her actions are detrimental to others yet acts regardless, is either still a child, or something akin to evil. That person has demonstrated neither responsibility, nor respect.

Self-sufficiency can be demonstrated as individuals, or through a spousal relationship. If a couple working together are self-sufficient, then both individuals are as well. A person can forge their own way through the world, or can have the wherewithal to find someone to take care of them. If someone married a person who lived with his or her parents until the wedding, never having to supply for himself or herself, would that person still be a child, or would the marriage make them an adult? After the marriage the couple must still be considered for self-sufficiency, but the individuals still bear the other two criteria for adulthood.

I went to his room in the middle of the night
I opened the door and I turned on the light
but to my surprise he was nowhere in sight
and I'm sure uncle Walter went waltzing last night

He goes wa wa wa wa wa wa waltzing with bears
raggy bears shaggy bears baggy bears too
And there's nothing on earth Uncle Walter won't do
He loves to go waltzing, go wa wa wa waltzing,
he loves to go waltzing go waltzing with bears


oh Beloved
why do I make that mistake again

I am adult

but not really

the child is still inside
and remembers
when triggered

tonight the trigger was asking
for something

adult child of alcoholic
never never never
ask for anything
and you can never never never
be told no

I asked
sleep has fled

the child remembers
wanting love so badly

when my friend said waltzing with bears
was about alcoholism oh yes in that moment
the song changed for me because oh yes

sometimes the bear is a teddy bear and hugs you tight
and sometimes it's asleep and can't be wakened
and sometimes it's happy and silly but not normal, no sense, scary
and sometimes the claws come out and tear through your heart

and the child would rather be alone lone lonely
then ask for love and be told no

A*dult" (#), a. [L. adultus, p. p. of adolescere, akin to alere to nourish: cf. F. adulte. See Adolescent, Old.]

Having arrived at maturity, or to full size and strength; matured; as, an adult person or plant; an adult ape; an adult age.


© Webster 1913.

A*dult", n.

A person, animal, or plant grown to full size and strength; one who has reached maturity.

⇒ In the common law, the term is applied to a person who has attained full age or legal majority; in the civil law, to males after the age of fourteen, and to females after twelve.


© Webster 1913.

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