Definition of elder adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈeldə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈeldər//
    Old age
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  1. 1[only before noun] (of people, especially two members of the same family) older my elder brother his elder sister See related entries: Old age
  2. 2the elder used without a noun immediately after it to show who is the older of two people the elder of their two sons
  3. 3the elder (formal) used before or after somebody’s name to show that they are the older of two people who have the same name the elder Pitt Pitt the elder Synonymsoldelderly aged long-lived matureThese words all describe somebody/​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’s 75 next year.elderly (rather formal) used as a polite word for ‘old’:She is very busy caring for two elderly relatives.aged (formal) very old:Having aged relatives to stay in your house 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 somebody 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/​couple compare the younger
  4. Word Originadjective Old English ieldra, eldra, of Germanic origin; related to German älter, also to old.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: elder