Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Having lived or existed for a relatively long time; far advanced in years or life.
  • adjective Relatively advanced in age.
  • adjective Made long ago; in existence for many years.
  • adjective Of or relating to a long life or to people who have had long lives.
  • adjective Having or exhibiting the physical characteristics of age.
  • adjective Having or exhibiting the wisdom of age; mature.
  • adjective Having lived or existed for a specified length of time.
  • adjective Exhibiting the effects of time or long use; worn.
  • adjective Known through long acquaintance; long familiar.
  • adjective Skilled or able through long experience; practiced.
  • adjective Belonging to a remote or former period in history; ancient.
  • adjective Belonging to or being of an earlier time.
  • adjective Being the earlier or earliest of two or more related objects, stages, versions, or periods.
  • adjective Having become slower in flow and less vigorous in action. Used of a river.
  • adjective Having become simpler in form and of lower relief. Used of a landform.
  • adjective Used as an intensive.
  • adjective Used to express affection or familiarity.
  • noun An individual of a specified age.
  • noun Old people considered as a group. Used with the.
  • noun Former times; yore.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Having lived or existed a long time; full of years; far advanced in years or life: applied to human beings, lower animals, and plants: as, an old man; an old horse; an old tree.
  • Of (a specified) age; noting the length of time or number of years that one has lived, or during which a thing or particular state of things has existed or continued; of the age of; aged: as, a child three months old; a house a century old.
  • Of or pertaining to the latter part of life; peculiar to or characteristic of those who are, or that which is, well advanced in years.
  • Having the judgment or good sense of a person who has lived long and has gained experience; thoughtful; sober; sensible; wise: as, an old head on young shoulders.
  • Of long standing or continuance.
  • Experienced; habituated: as, an old offender; old in vice or crime.
  • Of (some specified) standing as regards continuance or lapse of time.
  • Not new, fresh, or recent; having been long made; having existed long: as, an old house; an old cabinet.
  • Hence — That has long existed or been in use, and is near, or has passed, the limit of its usefulness; enfeebled or deteriorated by age; worn out: as, old clothes.
  • Well-worn; effete; worthless; trite; stale: expressing valuelessness, disrespect, or contempt: as, an old joke; sold for an old song.
  • Dating or reaching back to antiquity or to former ages; subsisting or known for a long time; long known to history.
  • Ancient; antique; not modern; former: as, the old inhabitants of Britain; the old Romans.
  • Early; pertaining to or characteristic of the earlier or earliest of two or more periods of time or stages of development: as, Old English; the Old Red Sandstone.
  • Former; past; passed away; disused; contrasted with or replaced by something new as a substitute; subsisting before something else: as, he built a new house on the site of the old one; the old régime; a gentleman of the old school; he is at his old tricks again.
  • Long known; familiar; hence, an epithet of affection or cordiality: as, an old friend; dear old fellow; old boy.
  • Old-fashioned; of a former time; hence, antiquated: as, an old fogy.
  • Great; high: an intensive now used only when preceded by another adjective also of intensive force: as, a fine old row; a high old time.
  • The mass of land comprising Europe, Asia, and Africa, in contradistinction to the new continent, consisting of North and South America.
  • The form of black letter used by English printers of the sixteenth century.
  • In mining, ancient workings: a term used in Cornwall.
  • A full-grown male kangaroo.
  • A man having habits or opinions considered peculiar to old women.
  • An apparatus for curing smoky chimneys; a chimney-cap or cowl.
  • See oldwife.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English eald; see al- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English old, ald, from Old English ald, eald ("old, aged, ancient, antique, primeval"), from Proto-Germanic *aldaz (“grown-up”), originally a participle form from Proto-Indo-European *altós (“grown, tall, big”). Cognate with Scots auld ("old"), North Frisian ool, ual, uul ("old"), Saterland Frisian oold ("old"), West Frisian âld ("old"), Dutch oud ("old"), Low German old ("old"), German alt ("old"), Swedish äldre ("older, elder"), Icelandic eldri ("older, elder"), Latin altus ("high, tall, grown big, lofty"). Related to eld.

Examples

  • I called him an old cretin, if you are SO interested, because he was tough, very old school and brooked no nonsense-so many would see him as an 'old cretin'type.

    [teachers] love them or loathe them

  • She makes her 'old man' 12-year-old Bruin look small!

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • The bad news is that Linda threw out in a clean up, all my old underwear/panties so I can't go to the 'old and nasty' panties if I am avoiding doing the laundry.

    Beth does not die: the Good News and Bad News of the Trip

  • From the bad old days when single women were stigmatized as 'old maids' and every little girl was warned that she might grow up to be one so make the boys like you or else!

    Spinsters Unite!

  • The candidate, no slouch in the self-deprecation business, refers to himself as ''old as dirt,'' although he travels with his 96-year-old mother as a genetic ambassador.

    How Old Is That?

  • She makes her 'old man' 12-year-old Bruin look small!

    New PUPPY!

  • Just Tim Masters 'old sketches and Masters' attorney says police and prosecutors used these old sketches to paint their own picture of a killer.

    CNN Transcript Jan 20, 2008

  • The old GOP propagandists 'old tricks no longer work in cyberspace.

    The Real Reason The Wingnuts Hate YearlyKos

  • I was told that 'old men' the local words for particularly large cactus must be left in place or if moved great care must be taken to ensure the cactus is planted with the same side facing the sun or the ‘old man’ will die.

    The value of trunks.

  • In our contemporary context it has shown itself in the scoffing at the 'old fashion' ideas of Ron Paul and the contempt of anyone who would be silly enough to believe in the old-wisdoms of the classical economists.

    The Austrian Economists:

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "old" in Hungarian means: dissolve / solve / release

    August 7, 2012

  • "The mass of land comprising Europe, Asia, and Africa, in contradistinction to the new continent, consisting of North and South America.

    The form of black letter used by English printers of the sixteenth century.

    In mining, ancient workings: a term used in Cornwall.

    A full-grown male kangaroo.

    A man having habits or opinions considered peculiar to old women.

    An apparatus for curing smoky chimneys; a chimney-cap or cowl.

    See oldwife.

    In physical geography, far advanced in the geographical cycle: noting a stage in which land-forms have been reduced to small relief and in which all processes of erosion and transportation have become relatively inactive.

    A pivoted attachment of a pump-rod to a bell-crank."

    --Cent. Dict.

    September 3, 2012