Definitions for elderˈɛl dər

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word elder

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

eld•er*ˈɛl dər(adj.)old; eldest

  1. of greater age; older.

  2. of higher rank; senior.

  3. of former times; earlier.

  4. (n.)an older person:

    a boy who respects his elders.

  5. an aged person.

  6. an older, influential member of a tribe or community, often a chief or ruler.

    Category: Sociology, Anthropology

  7. a presbyter.

    Category: Religion

  8. (in certain Protestant churches) a lay member who is a governing officer, often assisting the pastor in services.

    Category: Religion

* a compar. of as superl..

Origin of elder:

bef. 900; ME; OE eldra, comp. of ealdold

el•derˈɛl dər(n.)

  1. any shrub or tree of the genus Sambucus, of the honeysuckle family, having divided leaves and clusters of small red, black, or yellow berries.

    Category: Plants

Origin of elder:

bef. 900; ME eldre, elrene, OE ellærn

Princeton's WordNet

  1. elder, senior(noun)

    a person who is older than you are

  2. elder, elderberry bush(noun)

    any of numerous shrubs or small trees of temperate and subtropical northern hemisphere having white flowers and berrylike fruit

  3. elder(adj)

    any of various church officers

  4. elder, older, sr.(adj)

    used of the older of two persons of the same name especially used to distinguish a father from his son

    "Bill Adams, Sr."

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. elder(adjective)ˈɛl dər

    oldest of two

    my elder brother/sister

  2. elder(noun)ˈɛl dər

    sb older in your family

    Who is the elder - you or your sister?

  3. elderˈɛl dər

    an experienced, respected leader of a group

    the elders of the tribe

Webster Dictionary

  1. Elder(adj)

    older; more aged, or existing longer

  2. Elder(adj)

    born before another; prior in years; senior; earlier; older; as, his elder brother died in infancy; -- opposed to younger, and now commonly applied to a son, daughter, child, brother, etc

  3. Elder(adj)

    one who is older; a superior in age; a senior

  4. Elder(adj)

    an aged person; one who lived at an earlier period; a predecessor

  5. Elder(adj)

    a person who, on account of his age, occupies the office of ruler or judge; hence, a person occupying any office appropriate to such as have the experience and dignity which age confers; as, the elders of Israel; the elders of the synagogue; the elders in the apostolic church

  6. Elder(adj)

    a clergyman authorized to administer all the sacraments; as, a traveling elder

  7. Elder(noun)

    a genus of shrubs (Sambucus) having broad umbels of white flowers, and small black or red berries


  1. Elder

    An elder in Christianity is a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group. In some Christian traditions an elder is a clergy person who usually serves a local church or churches and who has been ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament and Order, filling the preaching and pastoral offices. In other Christian traditions, an elder may be a lay person charged with serving as an administrator in a local church, or be ordained to such an office. Particularly in reference to age and experience, elders exist throughout world cultures, and the Christian sense of elder is partially related to this.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Elder

    a name given to certain office-bearers in the Presbyterian Church, associated with the minister in certain spiritual functions short of teaching and administering sacraments; their duties embrace the general oversight of the congregation, and are of a wider nature than those of the deacons, whose functions are confined strictly to the secular interests of the church; they are generally elected by the church members, and ordained in the presence of the congregation; their term of office is in some cases for a stated number of years, but more generally for life.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'elder' in Nouns Frequency: #3014

Translations for elder

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


a person who is older

Take the advice of your elders.

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