Infancy


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Related to Infancy: babyhood

Infancy

Minority; the status of an individual who is below the legal age of majority.

At Common Law, the age of legal majority was twenty-one, but it has been lowered to eighteen in most states of the United States. Infancy indicates the condition of an individual who is legally unable to do certain acts. For example, an infant might not have the legal capacity to enter into certain contracts. Similarly, infancy is a ground for Annulment of a marriage in certain jurisdictions.

Although many states have lowered the age of majority for most purposes to eighteen, they frequently retain the right to mandate support of a child by a parent beyond that age in the aftermath of Divorce.

infancy

n. although the popular use of the word means the early years of age up to seven, in law, it is under-age or minority. Historically this meant under 21 years, but statutes adopted in almost all states end minority and infancy at 18. An "infant" cannot file a lawsuit without a "guardian ad litem" (one purpose guardian) acting for him/her, in most states cannot marry without parental permission, and cannot enter into a contract that is enforceable during his/her minority. (See: minority)

See: beginning, birth, nascency, nonage, onset, origination, outset, start

INFANCY. The state or condition of a person under tho age of twenty-one years. Vide Infant.

References in classic literature ?
I took into account also the very different character which a person brought up from infancy in France or Germany exhibits, from that which, with the same mind originally, this individual would have possessed had he lived always among the Chinese or with savages, and the circumstance that in dress itself the fashion which pleased us ten years ago, and which may again, perhaps, be received into favor before ten years have gone, appears to us at this moment extravagant and ridiculous.
Love - as in infancy was mine -'Twas such as angel minds above Might envy; her young heart the shrine On which my ev'ry hope and thought Were incense - then a goodly gift, For they were childish - and upright - Pure -- as her young example taught: Why did I leave it, and, adrift, Trust to the fire within, for light?
Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning and almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced; and lastly, his old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust.
No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine.
He had toiled there year after year, at his self-appointed task, while infants grew to boyhood--to vigorous youth--idled through school and college--acquired a profession--claimed man's mature estate--married and looked back to infancy as to a thing of some vague, ancient time, almost.
Claude Frollo had been destined from infancy, by his parents, to the ecclesiastical profession.
He ate burnt flesh when he would have preferred it raw and unspoiled, and he brought down game with arrow or spear when he would far rather have leaped upon it from ambush and sunk his strong teeth in its jugular; but at last the call of the milk of the savage mother that had suckled him in infancy rose to an insistent demand--he craved the hot blood of a fresh kill and his muscles yearned to pit themselves against the savage jungle in the battle for existence that had been his sole birthright for the first twenty years of his life.
To one imbued from infancy with the fascinating fallacy that all men are born equal, unquestioning submission to authority is not easily mastered, and the American volunteer soldier in his "green and salad days" is among the worst known.
instance of the law that the infancy of individuals reproduces the
It will end in our going to the New World, and trying Society in its infancy, among the forests and the plains.
I sing so well," said he, "that sixteen native grasshoppers who have chirped from infancy, and yet got no house built of cards to live in, grew thinner than they were before for sheer vexation when they heard me.
The tiny features and large blue eyes, smiling through a shock of light brown curls, shaken over the forehead as it bent above its treasure, bore sufficient resemblance to those of the young gentleman before me to proclaim it a portrait of Arthur Graham in his early infancy.