I. noun Etymology: Middle English eldre, from Old English ellærn; perhaps akin to Old English alor alder — more at alder Date: before 12th century elderberry 2 II. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Old English ieldra, comparative of eald old Date: before 12th century 1. of earlier birth or greater age <
his elder brother
2. of or relating to earlier times ; former 3. archaic of or relating to a more advanced time of life 4. prior or superior in rank, office, or validity III. noun Date: before 12th century 1. one living in an earlier period 2. a. one who is older ; senior <
a child trying to please her elders
b. an aged person 3. one having authority by virtue of age and experience <
the village elders
4. any of various officers of religious groups: as a. presbyter 1 b. a permanent officer elected by a Presbyterian congregation and ordained to serve on the session and assist the pastor at communion c. minister 2 d. a leader of the Shakers e. a Mormon ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood • eldership noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Elder — is a surname. It may also refer to older people or to:In religion: * Elder (administrative title), position of authority * Elder (Christianity), person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a… …   Wikipedia

  • Elder — ist die englische Form des Wortes Ältester und bezeichnet: ein Amt in verschiedenen christlichen Konfessionen, siehe dazu auch Presbyter ein Amt in der Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage, siehe Priestertum (Kirche Jesu Christi der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elder — El der, n. [OE. ellern, eller, AS. ellen, cf. LG. elloorn; perh. akin to OHG. holantar, holuntar, G. holunder; or perh. to E. alder, n.] (Bot.) A genus of shrubs ({Sambucus}) having broad umbels of white flowers, and small black or red berries.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elder — elder, eldest, older, oldest 1. Elder and eldest mean the same as older and oldest but they are much narrower in their range of use, being applicable only to people and only as nouns or attributive adjectives (before nouns). You can say his elder …   Modern English usage

  • Elder — Eld er, n. [AS. ealdor an elder, prince, fr. eald old. See {Old}, and cf. {Elder}, a., {Alderman}.] 1. One who is older; a superior in age; a senior. 1 Tim. v. 1. [1913 Webster] 2. An aged person; one who lived at an earlier period; a predecessor …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ELDER — (Heb. זָקֵן, zaken). In Israel, as among all other ancient peoples, the elder is not only a person of advanced age, but also a man of distinct social grade (cf. šībum in Akkadian, senator in Latin, geron in Greek, and sheikh in Arabic). The… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Elder — Eld er, a. [AS. yldra, compar. of eald old. See {Old}.] 1. Older; more aged, or existing longer. [1913 Webster] Let the elder men among us emulate their own earlier deeds. Jowett (Thucyd. ) [1913 Webster] 2. Born before another; prior in years;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • elder — elder1 [el′dər] adj. [ME < OE (Mercian) eldra, ældra, compar. < base of ald, eald, OLD] 1. born or brought forth earlier than another or others; exceeding another in age; senior; older 2. Obs. of longer standing or superior rank, position,… …   English World dictionary

  • Elder — Elder, 1) Sir Thomas, austral. Großkaufmann und freigebiger Förderer der Erforschung von Süd und Westaustralien, geb. 1818 in Kirkcaldy (Schottland), gest. 7. März 1897 in Adelaïde (Südaustralien), wanderte 1854 nach Südaustralien aus, betrieb… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • elder — ‘older’ [OE] is not, of course, the same word as elder the tree name [OE]. The former began life in prehistoric Germanic as *althizon, the comparative form of *althaz ‘old’. Gradually, the vowel i had an effect on the preceding vowel a, and by… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • elder — Ⅰ. elder [1] ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of one or more out of a group of people) of a greater age. ► NOUN 1) (one s elder) a person of greater age than oneself. 2) a leader or senior figure in a tribe. 3) an official or minister in certain Protestant… …   English terms dictionary

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