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[ohl-duh n]
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adjective Literary.
  1. of or relating to the distant past or bygone times; ancient.
  2. old.
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Origin of olden

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at old, -en2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for olden

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Why should not miracles come now, as in the olden days, for had not all this been ordained from the beginning?

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • The tone of olden friendliness was hard to bear, when no other voices answered.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • On the whole, he was like a baron of the olden time in a rare good humour.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • In olden days, other houses of tradesmen besides inns had signs.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • In the olden days it would have been a laugh, but Gloria must wait for strength to laugh.

    Gloria and Treeless Street

    Annie Hamilton Donnell

British Dictionary definitions for olden


  1. an archaic or poetic word for old in olden days; in olden times
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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 olden


early 15c., from old + -en (2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper