An old woman with her caregiver.
- The definition of old is advanced in age or having been around for awhile.
- An example of old is the age of 120.
- An example of old is milk that is past its expiration date.
- Old is used to mean people advanced in age collectively or days past.
- An example of old is a group of elderly people in a senior citizens home.
- An example of old is a Christmas memory from the 1950's.
adjectiveelder, eldestold′er, old′est
- having lived or been in existence for a long time; aged
- of, like, or characteristic of aged people; specif., mature in judgment, wise, etc.
- of a certain or specified age or duration: a child ten years old
- made or produced some time ago; not new
- familiar or known from the past; accustomed: up to his old tricks
- [oftenO-] designating the form of a language in its earliest attested stage: Old English
- having been in use for a long time; worn out by age or use; shabby
- that was at one time; former: my old teacher
- having had long experience or practice: an old hand at this work
- belonging to the remote past; having existed long ago; ancient: an old civilization
- dating or continuing from some period long before the present; of long standing: an old tradition
- designating the earlier or earliest of two or more: the Old World
- Informal dear: a term of affection or cordiality: old boy
- Informal tiresome, annoying, etc., esp. as a result of repetition or monotony: their incessant chatter has gotten old
- Geol. having reached the stage of greatly decreased activity or showing extensive reduction of topographical form: said of streams, mountain ranges, etc.
Origin of oldMiddle English from Old English (Anglian) ald, West Saxon eald, akin to German alt from Indo-European base an unverified form al-, to grow from source Classical Latin altus, old, alere, to nourish: basic sense “grown”
- time long past; yore: days of old
- a person of a specified age: used in hyphenated compounds: a six-year-old
- something old: with the
- old people: often with the
- a. Having lived or existed for a relatively long time; far advanced in years or life.b. Relatively advanced in age: Pamela is our oldest child.
- Made long ago; in existence for many years: an old book.
- a. Of or relating to a long life or to people who have had long lives: a ripe old age.b. Having or exhibiting the physical characteristics of age: a prematurely old face.c. Having or exhibiting the wisdom of age; mature: a child who is old for his years.
- Having lived or existed for a specified length of time: She was 12 years old.
- a. Exhibiting the effects of time or long use; worn: an old coat.b. Known through long acquaintance; long familiar: an old friend.c. Skilled or able through long experience; practiced: He is an old hand at doing home repairs.
- a. Belonging to a remote or former period in history; ancient: old fossils.b. Belonging to or being of an earlier time: her old classmates.c. often Old Being the earlier or earliest of two or more related objects, stages, versions, or periods.
- Geology a. Having become slower in flow and less vigorous in action. Used of a river.b. Having become simpler in form and of lower relief. Used of a landform.
- often ol' a. Used as an intensive: Come back any old time. Don't give me any ol' excuse.b. Used to express affection or familiarity: good ol' Sam.
- An individual of a specified age: a five-year-old.
- Old people considered as a group. Used with the : caring for the old.
- Former times; yore: in days of old.
Origin of oldMiddle English from Old English eald ; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.
Usage Note: Old, when applied to people, is a blunt term that usually suggests at least a degree of physical infirmity and age-related restrictions. It should be used advisedly, especially in referring to people advanced in years but leading active lives. • As a comparative form, older might logically seem to indicate greater age than old, but in most cases the opposite is true. A phrase such as the older woman in the wool jacket suggests a somewhat younger person than if old is substituted. Where old expresses an absolute, an arrival at old age, older takes a more relative view of aging as a continuum—older, but not yet old. As such, older is not just a euphemism for the blunter old but rather a more precise term for someone between middle and advanced age. And unlike elderly, older does not particularly suggest frailness or infirmity, making it the natural choice in many situations. See Usage Note at elder 1.
(comparative older or elder, superlative oldest or eldest)
- Of an object, concept, relationship, etc., having existed for a relatively long period of time.
- an old abandoned building; an old friend
- Of an item that has been used and so is not new (unused).
- I find that an old toothbrush is good to clean the keyboard with.
- Having existed or lived for the specified time.
- How old are they? She's five years old and he's seven. We also have a young teen and a two-year-old.
- My great-grandfather lived to be a hundred and one years old.
- Of an earlier time.
- Your constant pestering is getting old.
- Said of subdued colors, particularly reds, pinks and oranges, as if they had faded over time.
- A grammatical intensifier, often used in describing something positive. (Mostly in idioms like good old, big old and little old, any old and some old.)
- We're having a good old time.
- My next car will be a big old SUV.
- My wife makes the best little old apple pie in Texas.
(countable and uncountable, plural old) (usually used as plural)
- People who are old; old beings; the older generation; usually used with the.
- A civilised society should always look after the old in the community.
From Middle English old, ald, from Old English ald, eald (“old, aged, ancient, antique, primeval"), from Proto-Germanic *aldaz (“grown-up"), originally a participle form from Proto-Indo-European *altÃ³s (“grown, tall, big"). Cognate with Scots auld (“old"), North Frisian ool, ual, uul (“old"), Saterland Frisian oold (“old"), West Frisian Ã¢ld (“old"), Dutch oud (“old"), Low German old (“old"), German alt (“old"), Swedish Ã¤ldre (“older, elder"), Icelandic eldri (“older, elder"), Latin altus (“high, tall, grown big, lofty"). Related to eld.
- Eye dialect spelling of hold.
A representation of the pronunciation of hold by a speaker whose dialect lacks the voiceless glottal fricative or transition (IPA: [h]).