Person or animal that is fully grown / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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An adult is a human or other animal that has reached full growth. The biological definition of the word means an animal reaching sexual maturity and thus capable of reproduction. In the human context, the term adult has meanings associated with social and legal concepts. In contrast to a non-adult or "minor", a legal adult is a person who has attained the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible. They may also be regarded as a "major". The typical age of attaining legal adulthood is 18, although definition may vary by legal rights, country, and psychological development.
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Human adulthood encompasses psychological adult development. Definitions of adulthood are often inconsistent and contradictory; a person may be biologically an adult, and have adult behavior, but still be treated as a child if they are under the legal age of majority. Conversely, one may legally be an adult but possess none of the maturity and responsibility that may define an adult character.
In different cultures there are events that relate passing from being a child to becoming an adult or coming of age. This often encompasses the passing a series of tests to demonstrate that a person is prepared for adulthood, or reaching a specified age, sometimes in conjunction with demonstrating preparation. Most modern societies determine legal adulthood based on reaching a legally specified age without requiring a demonstration of physical maturity or preparation for adulthood.