elderly

[ el-der-lee ]
/ ˈɛl dər li /

adjective

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

noun

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

Nearby words

  1. elder statesman,
  2. elder stateswoman,
  3. elderberry,
  4. eldercare,
  5. elderhostel,
  6. eldest,
  7. eldest hand,
  8. eldo,
  9. eldon,
  10. eldorado

Origin of elderly

First recorded in 1605–15; elder1 + -ly

Related formseld·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

elderly

/ (ˈɛldəlɪ) /

adjective (of people)

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

usage

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

Word Origin and History for elderly

elderly

adj.

1610s, from elder + -ly (1). Old English ealdorlic meant "chief, princely, excellent, authentic." Old English also had related eldernliche "of old time," literally "forefatherly."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper