- 1 be… years, months, etc. old of a particular age The baby was only a few hours old. In those days most people left school when they were only fifteen years old. At thirty years old, he was already earning $100,000 a year. two fourteen-year-old boys a class for five-year-olds (= children who are five) I didn't think she was old enough for the responsibility. How old is this building? He's the oldest player on the team. She's much older than me. not young
- 2 having lived for a long time; no longer young to get/grow old The old man lay propped up on cushions. opposite young
- 3the old noun [plural] old people The old feel the cold more than the young. not new
- 4 having existed or been used for a long time old habits He always gives the same old excuses. This couch is getting pretty old now. opposite new
- 5[only before noun] former; belonging to past times or a past time in your life Things were different in the old days. I went back to visit my old school. Old and Middle English
- 6[only before noun] used to refer to something that has been replaced by something else We had more room in our old house. opposite new
- 7[only before noun] known for a long time She's an old friend of mine (= I have known her for a long time). We're old rivals. compare recent good old/poor old
- 8 [only before noun] (informal) used to show affection or a lack of respect Good oldDad! Our poor old dog is deaf and lame, but we love him so! I hate him, the silly old fool! Thesaurusoldelderly aged long-lived matureThese words all describe someone who or something that has lived for a long time or that usually lives for a long time.old having lived for a long time; no longer young:She's getting old—she'll be 75 next year.elderly (somewhat formal) used as a polite word for “old”:He is very busy caring for two elderly relatives.aged (formal) very old:Having aged relatives visiting you can be quite stressful.long-lived having a long life; lasting for a long time:Everyone in my family is exceptionally long-lived.mature used as a polite or humorous way of saying that somene is no longer young:clothes for the mature womanPatterns a(n) old/elderly/aged/long-lived/mature man/woman a(n) old/elderly/aged/mature gentleman/lady/coupleIdioms
adjectivejump to other results
any item of the type mentioned (used when it is not important which particular item is chosen) Any old room would have been okay.
any old… (informal)jump to other results
in a careless or messy way The books were piled up all over the floor any old how.
any old how (informal)jump to other results
very old; ancient
as old as the hillsjump to other results
to be behaving in the same bad way as before Soon he had spent all the money and was up to his old tricks.
be up to your (old) tricks (informal) (disapproving)jump to other results
a person who is very similar to their mother or father in the way that they look or behave
a chip off the old block (informal)jump to other results
if you do something for old times' sake, you do it because it is connected with something good that happened to you in the past
for old times' sakejump to other results
to dismiss someone from their job; to end a relationship with someone
give somebody the (old) heave-ho (informal)jump to other results
an earlier period of time in your life or in history that is seen as better/worse than the present That was in the bad old days of rampant inflation.
the good/bad old daysjump to other results
a great age She finally learned to drive at the grand old age of 70.
a/the grand old agejump to other results
a man who is respected in a particular profession that he has been involved in for a long time James Lovelock, the grand old man of environmental science
a/the grand old man (of something)jump to other results
to enjoy yourself very much
have a high old time (old-fashioned) (informal)jump to other results
an older person who behaves in a stupid way is worse than a younger person who does the same thing, because experience should have taught him or her not to do it
(there's) no fool like an old fool (saying)jump to other results
in or since past times in days of old
of old (formal or literary)jump to other results
very much older than someone (especially used to suggest that a romantic relationship between the two people is not appropriate)
old enough to be somebody's father/mother (disapproving)jump to other results
old enough to behave in a more sensible way than you actually did
old enough to know betterjump to other results
what usually happens It's the same old story of a badly managed project with inadequate funding.
the (same) old storyjump to other results
an old idea or belief that has been proved not to be scientific
an old wives' tale (disapproving)jump to other results
an age that is considered to be very old He lived to the ripe old age of 91.
a/the ripe old age (of…)jump to other results
to hurt or punish someone who has harmed or cheated you in the past “Who would do such a thing?” “Maybe someone with an old score to settle.”
settle a score/an account (with somebody), settle an old scorejump to other results
(you cannot) successfully make people change their ideas, methods of work, etc., when they have had them for a long time
(you can't) teach an old dog new tricks (saying)jump to other results