- oldenburg, claes,
adjective, old·er, old·est or eld·er, eld·est.
Origin of old
Examples from the Web for oldest
Average age ranges from 45 to 65, with her youngest client at 18 and the oldest in her 80s.
When my oldest child was a toddler, I treated illuminated screens like plutonium.Yes, Your Toddler Can Watch TV: The New Rules for Screen Time|Russell Saunders|December 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
What started as a confectionary is now the oldest know restaurant in Japan.
Occasionally Lew Wasserman, the chairman of MCA and one of Hitchcock's oldest friends, rings up just to see how he is.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days|David Freeman|December 13, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Harvard calls itself “the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.”
That was the question that faced the oldest Corner House girl as she turned away from the door of the little cobbler's shop.The Corner House Girls at School|Grace Brooks Hill
It is one of the oldest, and, beyond any doubt, the most valuable of the ancient books of Ireland.Insula Sanctorum et Doctorum|John Healy
Do you know what the oldest piece of furniture in the world is?How to Solve Conundrums|Anonymous
In particular the gladiatorial shows surpassed anything within the memory of the oldest living spectator.The Unwilling Vestal|Edward Lucas White
A lively discussion has been started as to which is the oldest church in Connecticut.
- of or relating to advanced years or a long lifeold age
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the old
- old and young people of all ages
- (postpositive) having lived or existed for a specified perioda child who is six years old
- (in combination)a six-year-old child
- (as noun in combination)a six-year-old
- (prenominal) established for a relatively long timean old member
- (in combination)old-established
Word Origin for old
Old English ald (Anglian), eald (West Saxon) "aged, antique, primeval; elder, experienced," from West Germanic *althas "grown up, adult" (cf. Old Frisian ald, Gothic alþeis, Dutch oud, German alt), originally a past participle stem of a verb meaning "grow, nourish" (cf. Gothic alan "to grow up," Old Norse ala "to nourish"), from PIE root *al- "to grow, nourish" (cf. Greek aldaino "make grow, strengthen," althein, althainein "to get well;" Latin alere "to feed, nourish, bring up, increase," altus "high," literally "grown tall," almus "nurturing, nourishing," alumnus "fosterling, step-child;" Old Irish alim "I nourish").
The usual PIE root is *sen- (see senior (adj.)). A few Indo-European languages distinguish words for "old" (vs. young) from words for "old" (vs. new), and some have separate words for aged persons as opposed to old things. Latin senex was used of aged living things, mostly persons, while vetus (literally "having many years") was used of inanimate things. Greek geraios was used mostly of humans; Greek palaios was used mostly of things, of persons only in a derogatory sense. Greek also had arkhaios, literally "belonging to the beginning," which parallels French ancien, used mostly with reference to things "of former times."
Old English also had fyrn "ancient," related to Old English feor "far, distant" (see far, and cf. Gothic fairneis, Old Norse forn "old, of old, of former times," Old High German firni "old, experienced"). The original Old English vowel is preserved in Scots auld, also in alderman. The original comparative and superlative (elder, eldest) are retained in particular uses.
First record of old-timer is from 1860. Expression old as the hills first recorded 1819. The good old days dates from 1828. Of old "of old times" is from late 14c. Old Glory for "the American flag" is first attested 1862. Old maid "woman who remains single well beyond the usual marrying age" is from 1520s; the card game is attested by that name from 1844. Old man "man who has lived long" is from c.1200; sense of "husband, father, boss" is from 1854, earlier (1830) it was military slang for "commanding officer;" old lady "wife, mother" is attested from c.1775. Old English is attested from 1701, originally as a type of font. Old boy originally was a former pupil of one of the English public schools. Old Testament attested from mid-14c.
In addition to the idioms beginning with old
- old as Adam
- old chestnut
- old college try, the
- old saw
- old shoe
- old stamping ground
- old story, an
- old wives' tale
- any old
- chip off the old block
- comfortable as an old shoe
- dirty joke (old man)
- get the air (old heave-ho)
- no fool like an old fool
- of old
- ripe old age
- same old story
- settle a score (old scores)
- stamping ground, old
- teach an old dog new tricks
- up to one's old tricks