[ el-der-lee ]
/ ˈɛl dər li /


of advanced age; old: discounts for elderly patrons.
of or relating to persons in later life.


(used with a plural verb) elderly people collectively; senior citizens (usually preceded by the): Doctors recommend that young children and the elderly get vaccinated.

Origin of elderly

First recorded in 1605–15; elder1 + -ly

Related forms

eld·er·li·ness, nounnon·eld·er·ly, nounun·eld·er·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for elderly

British Dictionary definitions for elderly


/ (ˈɛldəlɪ) /

adjective (of people)

  1. quite old; past middle age
  2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the elderly Related adjective: geriatric

Derived Forms

elderliness, noun


Referring to any group using the formula the elderly, the disabled is nowadays felt to be inappropriate because it glosses over people's individuality and perpetuates stereotypes. It is preferable to use phrases such as disabled people and so forth. Many people also prefer to talk about older rather than elderly people for similar reasons
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