American English

Definition of elder adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[only before noun] (old-fashioned or formal) (of people, especially two members of the same family) older my elder brother his elder sister
  2. 2the elder (old-fashioned or formal) 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 used before or after someone's name to show that they are the older of two people who have the same name the Elder Pitt Pitt the Elder compare the Younger 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/couple
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: elder