Definitions

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

  • adj. Of, relating to, or belonging to time long past; old or ancient: olden days.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. From or relating to a previous era.
  • adj. Old; ancient.
  • v. To grow old; age; assume an older appearance or character; become affected by age.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Old; ancient.
  • intransitive v. To grow old; to age.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To grow old; age; assume an older appearance or character; become affected by age.
  • To age; cause to appear old.
  • Old; ancient.

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

  • adj. long past

Etymologies

Middle English : old, old; see old + -en, adj. suff.; see -en2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From old +‎ -en. (Wiktionary)
From old +‎ -en. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • On the way back from swimming, I mentioned that - in olden times - sailors couldn't always swim, which took us to press gangs, and Nelson's navy.

    Emperor Kurtzhau's Fifth Column

  • It's funny how many men in olden times had feminine-sounding names.

    I'm a little stunned myself.

  • Back in olden times, say the early 1990's, a time of linear media and a small clutch of manageable news outlets, candidates routinely pivoted right (in GOP primaries) and left (in Democratic primaries) knowing that for the general election they could slide towards the center to build the winning coalition of their own party faithful, plus independents and a sprinkling of disaffected voters from the other party.

    Fernando Espuelas: Meg Whitman's Big Fat Latino Problem

  • Prayers were not more commonly answered, miracles were not more commonly performed in olden days.

    Weblogs

  • I wonder if in olden times people wrote out the address on formal letters as “Washington, District of Columbia” We should consult with Miss Manners.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Why “Washington, DC”?

  • Trade boats in olden times generally stayed within view of the coastline, allowing them to know where they were more accurately.

    The world used to be flat.

  • Across the street was an elementary school; in olden times they were called “Grammar Schools.”

    Just as I am « Dating Jesus

  • Point One is that a lot of assumptions about How Women Were in olden days (which in America pretty much means before the hagiographic 50s) are simply not true.

    Fifty

  • We're as rich as some kings and queens were in olden times.

    MORE FROM GINNY BATES: CLASS

  • If PBS had done it, and they have with their series of live in "olden times" shows, maybe I'd consider it a social experiment, but not from CBS.

    KID NATION: Watch Before You Judge | the TV addict

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