[ohl-duh n]

adjective Literary.

of or relating to the distant past or bygone times; ancient.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for olden

Contemporary Examples of olden

Historical Examples of olden

  • 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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper