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elder

1
[ el-der ]
/ ˈɛl dər /
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See synonyms for: elder / elders on Thesaurus.com

adjective, a comparative of old, with eldest as superlative.
noun
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Origin of elder

1
First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English eldra, comparative of eald, ald; see old

synonym study for elder

1. See older.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH elder

elder , older (see synonym study at older)

Other definitions for elder (2 of 2)

elder2
[ el-der ]
/ ˈɛl dər /

noun
any tree or shrub belonging to the genus Sambucus, of the honeysuckle family, having pinnate leaves, clusters of white flowers, and red or black, berrylike fruit.

Origin of elder

2
First recorded before 900; Middle English eldre, elrene, ellerne,Old English ellærn; cognate with Middle Low German ellern
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use elder in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for elder (1 of 3)

elder1
/ (ˈɛldə) /

adjective
born earlier; seniorCompare older
(in piquet and similar card games) denoting or relating to the nondealer (the elder hand), who has certain advantages in the play
archaic
  1. prior in rank, position, or office
  2. of a previous time; former
noun

Derived forms of elder

eldership, noun

Word Origin for elder

Old English eldra, comparative of eald old; related to Old Norse ellri, Old High German altiro, Gothic althiza

usage for elder

The word elder is being increasingly used, as a more respectful way of referring to older people: elder care, elder abuse

British Dictionary definitions for elder (2 of 3)

elder2
/ (ˈɛldə) /

noun
Also called: elderberry any of various caprifoliaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Sambucus, having clusters of small white flowers and red, purple, or black berry-like fruits
any of various unrelated plants, such as box elder and marsh elder
Compare alder

Word Origin for elder

Old English ellern; related to Old Norse elrir, Old High German erlīn, Old Slavonic jelǐcha, Latin alnus

British Dictionary definitions for elder (3 of 3)

Elder
/ (ˈɛldə) /

noun
Sir Mark Philip. born 1947, British conductor; musical director of the English National Opera (1979–93) and of the Hallé Orchestra from 2000
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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