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Greatest in age or seniority. See Usage Note at elder1.

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


being the oldest, esp the oldest surviving child of the same parents
[Old English eldesta, superlative of eald old]


(ˈɛl dɪst)

adj. a superl. of old with elder as compar.
oldest; first-born; of greatest age.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English eldesta, (e)ald old]


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.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.eldest - the offspring who came first in the order of birth
offspring, progeny, issue - the immediate descendants of a person; "she was the mother of many offspring"; "he died without issue"
Adj.1.eldest - first in order of birth; "the firstborn child"
first - preceding all others in time or space or degree; "the first house on the right"; "the first day of spring"; "his first political race"; "her first baby"; "the first time"; "the first meetings of the new party"; "the first phase of his training"


adjective oldest, first, first-born, earliest born David was the eldest of three sons.
الأبن الأكْبر، البِنْت الكُبْرىالأَكْبَر
가장 나이 많은
en büyüğüyaşça en büyük
lớn nhất


[ˈeldɪst] ADJ [child] → mayor
my eldest sistermi hermana mayor
he's the eldestél es el mayor
the eldest of the fourel mayor de los cuatro


my eldest sister → ma sœur aînée
the eldest child → l'aîné(e) des enfants
the eldest → l'aîné(e)
He's the eldest → C'est l'aîné.
their eldest (= eldest child) → leur aîné(e)e-learning [ˈiːlɜːrnɪŋ] napprentissage m en ligne


adj attr superl of oldälteste(r, s)
n the eldestder/die/das Älteste; (pl) → die Ältesten pl; the eldest of four childrendas älteste von vier Kindern; my eldest (inf: = son) → mein Ältester; (= daughter)meine Älteste


[ˈɛldɪst] adjmaggiore
my eldest brother → il maggiore dei miei fratelli
the eldest (child) → il/la maggiore (dei bambini)


(ˈeldə) adjective
(often of members of a family) older; senior. He has three elder sisters; He is the elder of the two.
1. a person who is older. Take the advice of your elders.
2. an office-bearer in Presbyterian churches.
ˈelderly adjective
(rather) old. an elderly lady.
ˈeldest adjective
oldest. She is the eldest of the three children.
the elderly
people who are (rather) old. It is important for the elderly to take some exercise.


الأَكْبَر nejstarší ældst ältester πρεσβύτερος de más edad, el de más edad vanhin aîné najstariji il maggiore 最年長の 가장 나이 많은 oudste eldst najstarszy o mais velho самый старший äldst แก่ที่สุด yaşça en büyük lớn nhất 最年长的


a. sup. el mayor, la mayor.
References in classic literature ?
Having murdered his brother-in-law, Orrin Brower of Kentucky was a fugitive from justice.
He could not have said if he were getting farther away from the town or going back to it--a most important matter to Orrin Brower.
Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) recent broadside against the credit union tax exemption left a lot of people saying, "Huh?
The beloved husband of the late Dolores "Dee;" loving father of Nancy (Robert) Schefer and Rob Chambers; dear grandfather of Matthew Schefer and Amy (Mike) Nickels; dearest son of the late Orrin H.
Four young Dumfries curlers, Orrin Carson, Logan Carson, Archie Hyslop and Charlie Gibb, have been crowned National U14 champions.
today released the following statement on the announcement by United States Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) that he will not seek re-election in 2018:
Orrin Hatch of Utah announced Tuesday that he will retire in January 2019 at the end of his current term.
Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said on Tuesday he will not seek re-election in November, opening the door to a potential Senate bid by Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate and one of the party's harshest critics of President Donald Trump.
If Angela, who is forty-five when she witnesses this, had known that Madeline would end her days thus, she would not have bitterly coveted the 5,000-square-foot vacation house that Madeline and her husband Orrin had just built in the Florida Keys.
Orrin Douglas Walker, a student of Durham Johnston School, died from multiple injuries after the fall on January 3.
Utah Senator] Orrin Hatch went through 2012 pounding his chest and throwing red meat to the crowd.
82, by Antonin Reicha, transcribed for Horn, Trombone, and Tuba, arranged and edited by Orrin Olson.