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Elderly vs. Old: What's the Difference?

Elderly and Old Definitions

Elderly

Being past middle age and approaching old age; rather old.

Old

Having lived or existed for a relatively long time; far advanced in years or life.

Elderly

Of, relating to, or characteristic of older persons or life in later years.

Old

Relatively advanced in age
Pamela is our oldest child.

Elderly

Pl. eld·er·lies An elderly person.
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Old

Made long ago; in existence for many years
An old book.

Elderly

Pl. elderly (used with a pl. verb) Older people considered as a group. Often used with the
Special recreational programs for the elderly.

Old

Of or relating to a long life or to people who have had long lives
A ripe old age.

Elderly

Old; having lived for relatively many years.

Old

Having or exhibiting the physical characteristics of age
A prematurely old face.
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Elderly

Of an object, being old-fashioned or frail due to aging.

Old

Having or exhibiting the wisdom of age; mature
A child who is old for his years.

Elderly

An elderly person.

Old

Having lived or existed for a specified length of time
She was 12 years old.

Elderly

Older people as a whole.

Old

Exhibiting the effects of time or long use; worn
An old coat.

Elderly

Somewhat old; advanced beyond middle age; bordering on old age; as, elderly people.

Old

Known through long acquaintance; long familiar
An old friend.

Elderly

Advanced in years; (`aged' is pronounced as two syllables);
Aged members of the society
Elderly residents could remember the construction of the first skyscraper
Senior citizen

Old

Skilled or able through long experience; practiced
He is an old hand at doing home repairs.

Old

Belonging to a remote or former period in history; ancient
Old fossils.

Old

Belonging to or being of an earlier time
Her old classmates.

Old

Often Old Being the earlier or earliest of two or more related objects, stages, versions, or periods.

Old

Having become slower in flow and less vigorous in action. Used of a river.

Old

Having become simpler in form and of lower relief. Used of a landform.

Old

Used as an intensive
Come back any old time. Don't give me any ol' excuse.

Old

Used to express affection or familiarity
Good ol' Sam.

Old

An individual of a specified age
A five-year-old.

Old

Old people considered as a group. Used with the
Caring for the old.

Old

Former times; yore
In days of old.

Old

Of an object, concept, relationship, etc., having existed for a relatively long period of time.
An old abandoned building
An old friend

Old

Of a living being, having lived for most of the expected years.
A wrinkled old man

Old

Of a perishable item, having existed for most of, or more than, its shelf life.
An old loaf of bread

Old

Of a species or language, belonging to a lineage that is distantly related others
The ginkgo is one of the oldest living trees
Basque is the oldest language in Europe

Old

Having been used and thus no longer new or unused.
I find that an old toothbrush is good to clean the keyboard with.

Old

Having existed or lived for the specified time.
How old are they? She’s five years old and he's seven. We also have a young teen and a two-year-old child.
My great-grandfather lived to be a hundred and one years old.

Old

(heading) Of an earlier time.

Old

Former, previous.
My new car is not as good as my old one.
A school reunion for Old Etonians

Old

That is no longer in existence.
The footpath follows the route of an old railway line.

Old

Obsolete; out-of-date.
That is the old way of doing things; now we do it this way.

Old

Familiar.
When he got drunk and quarrelsome they just gave him the old heave-ho.

Old

(UK) Being a graduate or alumnus of a school, especially a public school.

Old

Tiresome after prolonged repetition.
Your constant pestering is getting old.

Old

Said of subdued colors, particularly reds, pinks and oranges, as if they had faded over time.

Old

A grammatical intensifier, often used in describing something positive, and combined with another adjective.
We're having a good old time.
My next car will be a big old SUV.
My wife makes the best little old apple pie in Texas.
Any old

Old

(obsolete) Excessive, abundant.

Old

|invariable plural only}} People who are old; old beings; the older generation, taken as a group.
A civilised society should always look after the old in the community.

Old

(slang) A person older than oneself, especially an adult in relation to a teenager.

Old

One's parents.
I had to sneak out to meet my girlfriend and tell the olds I was going to the library.

Old

A typically dark-coloured lager brewed by the traditional top-fermentation method.

Old

Open country.

Old

Not young; advanced far in years or life; having lived till toward the end of the ordinary term of living; as, an old man; an old age; an old horse; an old tree.
Let not old age disgrace my high desire.
The melancholy news that we grow old.

Old

Not new or fresh; not recently made or produced; having existed for a long time; as, old wine; an old friendship.

Old

Formerly existing; ancient; not modern; preceding; original; as, an old law; an old custom; an old promise.

Old

Continued in life; advanced in the course of existence; having (a certain) length of existence; - designating the age of a person or thing; as, an infant a few hours old; a cathedral centuries old.
And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?

Old

Long practiced; hence, skilled; experienced; cunning; as, an old offender; old in vice.
Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old.

Old

Long cultivated; as, an old farm; old land, as opposed to new land, that is, to land lately cleared.

Old

Worn out; weakened or exhausted by use; past usefulness; as, old shoes; old clothes.

Old

More than enough; abundant.
If a man were porter of hell gate, he should have old turning the key.

Old

Aged; antiquated; hence, wanting in the mental vigor or other qualities belonging to youth; - used disparagingly as a term of reproach.

Old

Old-fashioned; wonted; customary; as of old; as, the good old times; hence, colloquially, gay; jolly.

Old

Used colloquially as a term of cordiality and familiarity.

Old

Past times (especially in the phrase `in days of old')

Old

(used especially of persons) having lived for a relatively long time or attained a specific age; especially not young; often used as a combining form to indicate an age as specified as in `a week-old baby';
An old man's eagle mind
His mother is very old
A ripe old age
How old are you?

Old

Of long duration; not new;
Old tradition
Old house
Old wine
Old country
Old friendships
Old money

Old

Of an earlier time;
His old classmates

Old

(used for emphasis) very familiar;
Good old boy
Same old story

Old

Lacking originality or spontaneity; no longer new;
Moth-eaten theories about race

Old

Just preceding something else in time or order;
The previous owner
My old house was larger

Old

Of a very early stage in development;
Old English is also called Anglo Saxon
Old High German is High German from the middle of the 9th to the end of the 11th century

Old

Old in experience;
An old offender
The older soldiers

Old

Used informally especially for emphasis;
A real honest-to-god live cowboy
Had us a high old time
Went upriver to look at a sure-enough fish wheel

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