Old English ealdnes, corresponding to old + -ness.
Variant of old
adjectiveolder or elder, oldest or eldest
- 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
- 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