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Antediluvian applies to what is extremely outdated: "I ...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Antiquated describes what is out of date, no longer fashionable, or discredited: "No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern.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 ?
In this strait they sent a Deputation to a neighbouring tribe to consult the Oldest and Wisest Ape in All the World.
Ossian, you remember, was supposed to live in the third century, but the oldest Cymric poets whose names we know were supposed to live in the sixth century.
After bursting open a door of idiotic obstinacy with a weak rattle in its throat, you fell into Tellson's down two steps, and came to your senses in a miserable little shop, with two little counters, where the oldest of men made your cheque shake as if the wind rustled it, while they examined the signature by the dingiest of windows, which were always under a shower-bath of mud from Fleet-street, and which were made the dingier by their own iron bars proper, and the heavy shadow of Temple Bar.
There is no doubt that the "Works and Days" is the oldest, as it is the most original, of the Hesiodic poems.
The abyss to which he could find no bottom, and from which started forth the engrossing and ever-swelling difficulty of his life, was the insoluble question whether he was Veneering's oldest friend, or newest friend.
And why is everything relating to your marriage kept an impenetrable secret from your oldest friends?
Poyser, as is th' oldest man i' the room, should sit at top o' the table.
Mark's is not the oldest building in the world, of course, but it seems the oldest, and looks the oldest--especially inside.
The lie it was drawing me by is perhaps Spring's oldest, commonest lie,--the lying promise of the Perfect Woman, the Quite Impossible She.
I suspect that the strongest proof of their existence was the gloomy and ruinous look of the house, which was one of the oldest in the village, and the only one that was for rent there.
Not long after Mary came back from the asylum, I heard a young Dane, who was helping us to thresh, tell Jake and Otto that Chris Lingard's oldest girl had put Ole Benson out of his head, until he had no more sense than his crazy wife.
Now I'm the oldest, Jane, an' I intend to have my say out; if you don't like it you can go into the kitchen till it's over.