Define: Delinquent

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Delinquent

What is the dictionary definition of Delinquent?

Dictionary Definition

  1. One who disobeys or breaks rules or laws.
  2. Late or failing to pay a debt or other financial obligation, like a mortgage or loan.
  3. obsolete a term applied to royalists by their opponents in the English Civil War 1642 – 1645. Charles I was known as the chief delinquent.


Full Definition of Delinquent

The term delinquent refers to a person or business entity that has failed to meet an agreed-upon obligation according to the agreed-upon schedule.

For example, a business that is late in filing required regulatory documents would be considered delinquent. A person who is late in paying his required monthly payment on a loan would also be considered delinquent. In both examples, the delinquent parties would be subject to penalties. If a borrower becomes delinquent he must pay his original obligation as well as any penalties within a certain time or risk default (which could lead to repossession or foreclosure). While being considered delinquent is less serious than defaulting on an obligation, either one may negatively affect a person’s credit standing.


Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Delinquent. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. February 21, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Delinquent. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: February 21, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Delinquent. Retrieved February 21, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Delinquent are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 7th February 2020.