Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. superlative form of old: most old.; greatest in age or seniority.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Oldest; longest in duration.
  • adj. Born or living first, or before the others, as a son, daughter, brother, etc.; first in origin. See Elder.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Oldest; most advanced in age; that was born first: as, the eldest son or daughter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the offspring who came first in the order of birth
  • adj. first in order of birth

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English eldesta; see al-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Otto is what I called my eldest son who is in the imperial navy!

    The Dramatic Works of Gerhart Hauptmann Volume II

  • They are brothers; and the eldest is a baronet, has a good estate, a wife and three or four children.

    Letters from Dorothy Osborne to Sir William Temple (1652-54)

  • Usually, the 2nd, 3rd and 5th sons are sprawled on our bed while watching cartoons on cable TV; the eldest is engrossed on highstreet 5 while the 4th son plays mafia wars on facebook.

    The “Empty” Nest « MommyFiles

  • Anonymous said ... took my teens school clothes shopping, find it hard to believe my eldest is going off to college and my youngest is starting 11th grade. wow I am feeling old!

    Max's Book

  • We have 2 boys, the eldest is circed, the youngest is not ..

    The First Cut | Her Bad Mother

  • My eldest is a No. 1 hunter and fisherman, the two younger ones like hunting but not as much as they like to fish (which is fine with me).

    Daddy Deer Camp

  • This time there are 2 kids and the eldest is old enough to know that Daddy's gone.

    "A Manageable State of Anxiety" - SpouseBUZZ

  • Peter Wiggin, the eldest, is a cruel and sadistic boy with grandiose but entirely plausible ideas of ruling the world.

    Ender’s Game: Lost Childhood « A Working Title

  • Rose, the eldest, is in the lead and she realizes something is terribly wrong before she sees what's the matter.

    Lance Mannion:

  • Well, today was another day I kind of went off-list in terms of my goals, but I do have a good reason for it, unfortunately - the reason being that a friend of mine has recently been diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma - she's got three kids under 5 (for another few weeks - then there are two birthdays - but still) - her eldest is in the same class as Alex.

    Good quilt for a crap reason

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