English Dictionary

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English Dictionary

Definitions of older

older  (ˈəʊldə



  1. the comparative of old
  2. having lived or existed longer; of greater age Also (of people, esp members of the same family): elder

old  (əʊld



  1. having lived or existed for a relatively long time   ⇒ an old man,   ⇒ an old tradition,   ⇒ old wine,   ⇒ an old house,   ⇒ an old country
    1. of or relating to advanced years or a long life   ⇒ old age
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)   ⇒ the old
    3. See old and young

  2. decrepit or senile
  3. worn with age or use   ⇒ old clothes,   ⇒ an old car
    1. (postpositive) having lived or existed for a specified period   ⇒ a child who is six years old
    2. (in combination)   ⇒ a six-year-old child
    3. (as noun in combination)   ⇒ a six-year-old
  4. (capital when part of a name or title) earlier or earliest of two or more things with the same name   ⇒ the old edition,   ⇒ the Old Testament,   ⇒ old Norwich
  5. (capital when part of a name) designating the form of a language in which the earliest known records are written   ⇒ Old English
  6. (prenominal) familiar through long acquaintance or repetition   ⇒ an old friend,   ⇒ an old excuse
  7. practised; hardened   ⇒ old in cunning
  8. (prenominal) often preceded by good cherished; dear: used as a term of affection or familiarity   ⇒ good old George
  9. (informal) (with any of several nouns) used as a familiar form of address to a person   ⇒ old thing,   ⇒ old bean,   ⇒ old stick,   ⇒ old fellow
  10. skilled through long experience (esp in the phrase an old hand)
  11. out-of-date; unfashionable
  12. remote or distant in origin or time of origin   ⇒ an old culture
  13. (prenominal) former; previous   ⇒ my old house was small
    1. (prenominal) established for a relatively long time   ⇒ an old member
    2. (in combination)   ⇒ old-established
  14. sensible, wise, or mature   ⇒ old beyond one's years
  15. (of a river, valley, or land surface) in the final stage of the cycle of erosion, characterized by flat extensive flood plains and minimum relief See also youthful (sense 4, mature (sense 6
  16. (intensifier) (esp in phrases such as a good old time, any old thing, any old how, etc)
  17. (of crops) harvested late
  18. See good old days

  19. See little old

  20. See the old one


  1. an earlier or past time (esp in the phrase of old)   ⇒ in days of old
Many people nowadays prefer to talk about older people rather than old people, and the phrase the old is best avoided altogether

Derived Forms

ˈoldish  adjective
ˈoldness  noun

Word Origin

Old English eald; related to Old Saxon ald, Old High German, German alt, Latin altus high


View thesaurus entry
= aged, elderly, ancient, getting on, grey, mature, past it (informal), venerable, patriarchal, grey-haired, antiquated, over the hill (informal), senile, grizzled, decrepit, hoary, senescent, advanced in years, full of years, past your prime
= tumbledown, ruined, crumbling, decayed, shaky, disintegrating, worn-out, done, tottering, ramshackle, rickety, decrepit, falling to pieces
= out of date, old-fashioned, dated, passé, antique, outdated, obsolete, archaic, unfashionable, antiquated, outmoded, behind the times, superannuated, out of style, antediluvian, unhip (slang), out of the ark (informal), démodé (French)
= former, earlier, past, previous, prior, one-time, erstwhile, late, quondam, whilom (archaic), ex-
= stale, common, commonplace, worn-out, banal, threadbare, trite, old hat, insipid, hackneyed, overused, repetitious, unoriginal, platitudinous, cliché-ridden, timeworn
= long-established, seasoned, experienced, tried, tested, trained, professional, skilled, expert, master, qualified, familiar, capable, veteran, practised, accomplished, vintage, versed, hardened, competent, skilful, adept, knowledgeable, age-old, of long standing, well-versed
= customary, established, traditional, conventional, historic, long-established, time-honoured, of long standing

Quotations including 'older'

  • "No man is ever so old but he thinks he can live another year" [Cicero
  • "There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle"
  • "You can't teach an old dog new tricks"

Example Sentences Including 'older'

With the touch of make-up she wore and her hair done differently she looked older.
Stuart Harrison LOST SUMMER (2002)
She looked as though she was in her mid-forties but Boyd later told Stephanie she was older.
Mark Burnell CHAMELEON (2002)
Aged twenty-eight, she was just eleven months older than Stephanie.
Mark Burnell CHAMELEON (2002)


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