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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a person who has attained the age of legal majority.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Grown Ups features former Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps favourite Sheridan Smith as Michelle.
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The trouble with Grown Ups 2 is it seems to be a film of the brainless, by the brainless, for the brainless.
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Grown Ups reunites a group of childhood friends who discover that growing old doesn't necessarily mean growing up.
Adam Sandler's comedy friends did not take too much persuading to co-star in his latest film Grown Ups, about a group of school friends who reunite 30 years on to spend the weekend together.
Grown Ups is about a group of men reuniting after the death of their old basketball coach.
At least the five stars seem to be having a good time because, while it is all modestly amusing, Grown Ups is more a movie of wasted comedy opportunities than out-and-out laughs.
There's even a few words aimed at the frustrated grown ups who watch in despair as junior paints the kitchen wall with mashed potato as he attempts to use a fork
Children look to grown ups to help them figure out what's going on in the present and what might happen in the future.