I am looking for one word (formal preferably) that defines the state or period of not being under full legal age, i.e. the opposite of what is asked in this question:

Is there a word for "the length of time from birth to the age of majority"?

Is there such a word?

  • 1
    Legal adult, age of majority – NVZ May 27 '16 at 10:57
  • 1
    Adulthood, maturity, majority – MorganFR May 27 '16 at 11:05
  • 1
    "Of age" is sometimes used. – Hot Licks May 27 '16 at 11:41
  • 1
    You mention this being for an online contest; is the restriction is for legal purposes? Is there s specific age you need entrants to be over, if so who not state that age? – Spagirl May 27 '16 at 11:59
  • 3
    The answers given so far correctly answer your question as it’s posed, but for a contest, be VERY careful using a general term whose meaning varies with jurisdictions AND circumstances. There are some 20 million emancipated minors in the US who are adults & of age in the eyes of the law. Resolve the space issues elsewhere & use a specific age (& above) instead. – Papa Poule May 27 '16 at 13:41

Adult (or "legal adult" to be specific) — TFD

(legal definition) a person who has attained the age of legal majority.

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.

Age of majority — Wikipedia

Age of majority should not be confused with the age of sexual consent, marriageable age, school leaving age, drinking age, driving age, voting age, smoking age, etc., which each may be independent of, and sometimes set at a different age from, the age of majority

  • Thanks NVZ, so in this phrase "The contestant is an adult." is it clear that the person is not underage? Or is it required to place the word legal before it? – CPHPython May 27 '16 at 11:09
  • @CPHPython "Adult" should be fine. Tell me, what kind of contest is it? – NVZ May 27 '16 at 11:10
  • The person has to complete a specific action in order to be able to participate and win the prize, this will be advertised online. – CPHPython May 27 '16 at 11:12
  • 2
    @CPHPython "Adult" is fine. But depends on your regional laws. At what age is a person defined as an adult there? OR you could be specific by saying persons 18 years old and above. – NVZ May 27 '16 at 11:14
  • I understand, one word is ideal though (due to space restrictions). By logic there is no "under full legal aged" adult in any English speaking country that I know of, so I'll accept your answer. – CPHPython May 27 '16 at 11:21

You can use the expression,

be/come of age:

  • to reach the age when you are legally recognized as an adult.

(Cambridge Dictionary)

  • Thanks Josh (I will upvote when I am able to do so), I am particularly looking for a word that can replace the words in angle quotes in this sentence: "The contestant must be a «full legal aged» person in order to participate". – CPHPython May 27 '16 at 11:04
  • 1
    @CPHPython "..must be an adult" or "..legal adult" works fine. – NVZ May 27 '16 at 11:05
  • 2
    @COHPyton / it depends on context. Adult does not necessarily refer to legal adult. The antonym of underage is of age. – user66974 May 27 '16 at 11:11
  • 1
    "The contestant must be a person of age in order to participate", looks fine. :) – NVZ May 27 '16 at 13:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.