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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016 eld•er 1 /ˈɛldɚ/
USA pronunciation adj. a compar. of old with eldest as superl. [before a noun; used only of people ]
of greater age; older: my elder sister. n.
[ countable ]
an older person: a boy who respects his elders.
Sociologyan older, influential member of a community. Religion(in certain Protestant churches) a person who is not a member of the clergy and is a governing officer, often assisting in services.
elder is both an adjective and a noun, and elderly is both an adjective and a noun: Listen to your elders. She is my elder sister. Elderly gentlemen met us at the door. These seats are all reserved for the elderly. el•der 2 /ˈɛldɚ/
USA pronunciation n. [ countable ]
Plant Biologya shrub or tree having divided leaves and clusters of small berries. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016 eld•er
1 (el ′dər), USA pronunciation adj. [a compar. of ] old with eldest as superl.
of greater age; older.
of higher rank; senior: an elder officer.
of or pertaining to former times; earlier: Much that was forbidden by elder custom is accepted today. n.
a person who is older or higher in rank than oneself.
an aged person.
Anthropology, Sociologyan influential member of a tribe or community, often a chief or ruler; a superior.
Religion(in certain Protestant churches) a lay member who is a governing officer, often assisting the pastor in services. Religion a member of the Melchizedek priesthood. [Mormon Ch. ]
bef. 900; Middle English; Old English eldra, comparative of eald old
1. See See corresponding entry in Unabridged older.
1. younger. See corresponding entry in Unabridged el•der
2 (el ′dər), USA pronunciation n.
Plant Biologyany tree or shrub belonging to the genus Sambucus, of the honeysuckle family, having pinnate leaves, clusters of white flowers, and red or black, berrylike fruit.
bef. 900; Middle English eldre, elrene, ellerne, Old English ellærn; cognate with Middle Low German ellern
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
elder / ˈɛldə/ adj born earlier; senior Compare older (in piquet and similar card games) denoting or relating to the nondealer (the elder hand), who has certain advantages in the play archaic prior in rank, position, or office of a previous time; former n an older person; one's senior a senior member of a tribe who has influence or authority (in certain Protestant Churches) a lay office having teaching, pastoral, or administrative functions another word for presbyter Etymology: Old English eldra, comparative of eald old; related to Old Norse ellri, Old High German altiro, Gothic althiza ˈelderˌship n USAGE The word elder is being increasingly used, as a more respectful way of referring to older people: elder care, elder abuse elder / ˈɛldə/ n Also called: elderberry any of various caprifoliaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Sambucus, having clusters of small white flowers and red, purple, or black berry-like fruits Etymology: Old English ellern; related to Old Norse elrir, Old High German erlīn, Old Slavonic jelǐcha, Latin alnus
Elder / ˈɛldə/ n Mark Philip. born 1947, British conductor; musical director of the English National Opera (1979–93) and of the Hallé Orchestra from 2000
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