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A person who by virtue of attaining a certain age, generally eighteen, is regarded in the eyes of the law as being able to manage his or her own affairs.

The age specified by law, called the legal age of majority, indicates that a person acquires full legal capacity to be bound by various documents, such as contracts and deeds, that he or she makes with others and to commit other legal acts such as voting in elections and entering marriage. The age at which a person becomes an adult varies from state to state and often varies within a state, depending upon the nature of the action taken by the person. Thus, a person wishing to obtain a license to operate a motor vehicle may be considered an adult at age sixteen, but may not reach adulthood until age eighteen for purposes of marriage, or age twenty-one for purposes of purchasing intoxicating liquors.

Anyone who has not reached the age of adulthood is legally considered an infant.


a person who has attained the age of legal majority.

ADULT, in the civil law. An infant who, if a boy, has attained his full age of fourteen years, and if a girl, her full age of twelve. Domat, Liv. Prel. t. 2, s. 2, n. 8. In the common law an adult is considered one of full age. 1 Swanst. R. 553.

References in periodicals archive ?
What's new here is that the results suggest that intake during adolescence and early adulthood may be particularly important.
"We wanted to sort out exactly what the message is, and particularly because there is a high mortality in early adulthood in sickle cell disease, with a major contributor being respiratory disease," said Dr.
I hope our three kids, Sam and Katherine and William, can keep running the laps of adolescence and early adulthood without scuffing their knees on too many hurdles.
Webb (1846-1916), "a Victorian from America's Mid-Atlantic cultural zone" [24] whose "life was steeped in Americana," [10] spent the bulk of his early adulthood in Missouri journalism.
The Cleveland-born architect lived, studied and worked in Toledo throughout his youth and early adulthood.
HIV infection is taking a heavier toll on the nation's black population than on any other racial or ethnic group, and the disparity seems to appear in early adulthood, according to a June AJPH study.
Conversely, most Black girls accept their bodies in their early teens and early adulthood. Because there is no drop off in depression levels as their bodies change, the depression rate among Black women remains steady.
But he amasses more than enough evidence from a careful sorting of the Lincoln sources to show (a) that the Lincoln bloodlines showed a predisposition to mental grief, (b) that Lincoln's youth and early adulthood were scarred by family deaths and personal traumas, and (c) that in his mid-to-late 20s, Lincoln reacted so badly to political and personal defeats that numerous friends and eyewitnesses were afraid to leave him alone.
Men diagnosed with schizophrenia are usually hospitalized in adolescence or early adulthood. Hospitalization of female schizophrenia patients is more likely to occur between the ages of 40 and 49.
Smoking and coffee consumption generally begin in early adulthood. Subjects who later develop PD may be less likely to have experiences that are associated with novelty or that are socially inappropriate (Bharucha et al.
Factors that are associated with teenagers' postponing sexual initiation are not, for the most part, protective against STDs in early adulthood, according to an analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.
This biography of Einstein begins with an engaging account of his childhood and early adulthood, and then focuses on the "annus mirabilis" or "miracle year" of 1905, when Einstein created his most important work, "The Theory of Relativity." Science writer Gribbin delves into Einstein's turbulent personal life and its effect on his work, provides a historical context for Einstein's work, and describes the work itself in comprehensible terms.

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