oldest


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Related to oldest: Oldest religion, Oldest Person

old

 (ōld)
adj. old·er, old·est
1.
a. Having lived or existed for a relatively long time; far advanced in years or life.
b. Relatively advanced in age: Pamela is our oldest child.
2. Made long ago; in existence for many years: an old book.
3.
a. Of or relating to a long life or to people who have had long lives: a ripe old age.
b. Having or exhibiting the physical characteristics of age: a prematurely old face.
c. Having or exhibiting the wisdom of age; mature: a child who is old for his years.
4. Having lived or existed for a specified length of time: She was 12 years old.
5.
a. Exhibiting the effects of time or long use; worn: an old coat.
b. Known through long acquaintance; long familiar: an old friend.
c. Skilled or able through long experience; practiced: He is an old hand at doing home repairs.
6.
a. Belonging to a remote or former period in history; ancient: old fossils.
b. Belonging to or being of an earlier time: her old classmates.
c. often Old Being the earlier or earliest of two or more related objects, stages, versions, or periods.
7. Geology
a. Having become slower in flow and less vigorous in action. Used of a river.
b. Having become simpler in form and of lower relief. Used of a landform.
8. often ol' (ōl)
a. Used as an intensive: Come back any old time. Don't give me any ol' excuse.
b. Used to express affection or familiarity: good ol' Sam.
n.
1. An individual of a specified age: a five-year-old.
2. Old people considered as a group. Used with the: caring for the old.
3. Former times; yore: in days of old.

[Middle English, from Old English eald; see al- in Indo-European roots.]

old′ness n.
Synonyms: old, ancient1, archaic, antediluvian, antique, antiquated
These adjectives describe what belongs to or dates from an earlier time or period. Old is the most general term: old lace; an old saying.
Ancient pertains to the distant past: "the hills, / Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun" (William Cullen Bryant).
Archaic implies a very remote, often primitive period: an archaic Greek bronze of the seventh century bc.
Antediluvian applies to what is extremely outdated: "I ... went out to reconnoiter a fresh typewriter ribbon for Professor Mitwisser's antediluvian machine" (Cynthia Ozick).
Antique is applied to what is especially appreciated or valued because of its age: antique furniture; an antique vase.
Antiquated describes what is out of date, no longer fashionable, or discredited: "No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern. No idea is so modern that it will not someday be antiquated" (Ellen Glasgow).
Usage Note: Old, when applied to people, is a blunt term that usually suggests at least a degree of physical infirmity and age-related restrictions. It should be used advisedly, especially in referring to people advanced in years but leading active lives. · As a comparative form, older might logically seem to indicate greater age than old, but in most cases the opposite is true. A phrase such as the older woman in the wool jacket suggests a somewhat younger person than if old is substituted. Where old expresses an absolute, an arrival at old age, older takes a more relative view of aging as a continuum—older, but not yet old. As such, older is not just a euphemism for the blunter old but rather a more precise term for someone between middle and advanced age. And unlike elderly, older does not particularly suggest frailness or infirmity, making it the natural choice in many situations. See Usage Note at elder1.

elder

eldestolderoldest
1. 'elder'

The elder of two people is the one who was born first.

Posy was the elder of the two.

If you have a sister or brother who was born before you, you can refer to them as your elder sister or brother.

He had none of his elder brother's charm.
2. 'eldest'

The eldest of a group of people, especially the brothers and sisters in a family, is the one who was born first.

Gladys was the eldest of four children.
Her eldest son was killed in the First War.
3. 'older' and 'oldest'

Elder and eldest are slightly formal, and many people do not use them at all. Instead of 'elder' and 'eldest' you can use older and oldest.

He's my older brother.
Six of their children were there, including the oldest, Luke.

You can use older and oldest in some ways in which you cannot use 'elder'. For example, you can use older after be, get, or grow, and in front of than.

Try it when you are a little older.
We're all getting older.
As he grew older, his fascination with bees developed into an obsession.
Harriet was ten years older than I was.

You cannot use 'elder' in any of these ways.

You can also use older and oldest to talk about things.

On older houses there may be guarantees for treatment against woodworm.
It is the oldest of London squares.
It claims to be the oldest insurance company in the world.

You cannot use 'elder' or 'eldest' to talk about things.

Translations
næst bestur/stærstur
druhý naj-
References in classic literature ?
I'm the oldest," began Meg, but Jo cut in with a decided, "I'm the man of the family now Papa is away, and I shall provide the slippers, for he told me to take special care of Mother while he was gone.
The oldest son, Ambroz--they called it Ambrosch-- came out of the cave and stood beside his mother.
What did it matter about a name when he could give her one of the oldest and proudest in Louisiana?
Then the Sagamore, as the oldest and highest in rank, in a few calm and dignified words, proposed the subject for deliberation.
The whereabouts of the Oldest Inhabitant was at once settled when I looked at them.
I can say nothing more that is true of ye, nor can the oldest Nantucketer.
Because I cannot understand how it is, that while the Egyptian mummies that were buried thousands of years before even Pliny was born, do not measure so much in their coffins as a modern Kentuckian in his socks; and while the cattle and other animals sculptured on the oldest Egyptian and Nineveh tablets, by the relative proportions in which they are drawn, just as plainly prove that the high-bred, stall-fed, prize cattle of Smithfield, not only equal, but far exceed in magnitude the fattest of Pharaoh's fat kine; in the face of all this, I will not admit that of all animals the whale alone should have degenerated.
The oldest of the colts raised his head, pricked his ears, and said, "There are the hounds
The oldest of them, little Stanislovas, was but thirteen, and small for his age at that; and while the oldest son of Szedvilas was only twelve, and had worked for over a year at Jones's, Jurgis would have it that Stanislovas should learn to speak English, and grow up to be a skilled man.
Old Uncle Peter sung both de legs out of dat oldest cheer, last week," suggested Mose.
I started to talking lazy and com- fortable, as if I was just talking to pass the time; and the oldest man in the world couldn't have taken the bearings of my starting place and guessed where I was going to fetch up:
It was a good show, and as stately and complex as guard-mount and the trooping of the colors; and it had its own special music, composed for the occasion by the bandmaster of the Seventh; and the child was as serious as the most serious war-worn soldier of them all; and finally when they throned her upon the shoulder of the oldest veteran, and pronounced her "well and truly adopted," and the bands struck up and all saluted and she saluted in return, it was better and more moving than any kindred thing I have seen on the stage, because stage things are make-believe, but this was real and the players' hearts were in it.