What does elder mean?

Definitions for elder
ˈɛl dərel·der

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word elder.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. elder, seniornoun

    a person who is older than you are

  2. elder, elderberry bushnoun

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

  3. elderadjective

    any of various church officers

  4. elder, older, sr.adjective

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

    "Bill Adams, Sr."

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Elderadjective

    The comparative of eld, Surpassing another in years; survivor; having the privileges of primogeniture.

    Etymology: eald, ealdor, Saxon.

    They bring the comparison of younger daughters conforming themselves in attire to the example of their elder sisters. Richard Hooker, b. iv. s. 13.

    Let still the woman take
    An elder than herself; so wears she to him,
    So sways she level in her husband’s heart. William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night.

    How I firmly am resolv’d, you know;
    That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter,
    Before I have a husband for the elder. William Shakespeare, Tam. of the Shrew.

    The elder of his children comes to acquire a degree of authority among the younger, by the same means the father did among them. William Temple.

    Fame’s high temple stands;
    Stupendous pile! not rear’d by mortal hands!
    Whate’er proud Rome, or artful Greece beheld,
    Or elder Babylon, its frame excell’d. Alexander Pope, Temp. of Fame.

  2. Eldernoun

    The name of a tree.

    Etymology: ellasa, Saxon.

    The branches are full of pith, having but little wood: the flowers are monopetalous, divided into several segments, and expand in form of a rose: these are, for the most part, collected into an umbel, and are succeeded by soft succulent berries, having three seeds in each. It may be easily propagated from cuttings or seeds; but the former, being the most expeditious method, is generally practised. The season for planting their cuttings is any time from September to March, thrusting them six or eight inches into the ground. Dwarf elder is near London propagated for medicinal use. Philip Miller.

    Look for thy reward
    Amongst the nettles at the elder tree,
    Which overshades the mouth of that same pit. William Shakespeare, Tit. And.

    Then seek the bank where flowering elders crowd. James Thomson.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Elderadjective

    older; more aged, or existing longer

  2. Elderadjective

    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. Elderadjective

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

  4. Elderadjective

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

  5. Elderadjective

    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. Elderadjective

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

  7. Eldernoun

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

  8. Etymology: [OE. ellern, eller, AS. ellen, cf. LG. elloorn; perh. akin to OHG. holantar, holuntar, G. holunder; or perh. to E. alder, n.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Elder

    eld′ėr, n. a genus of plants consisting chiefly of shrubs and trees, with pinnate leaves, small flowers (of which the corolla is wheel-shaped and five-cleft), and three-seeded berries—the Common Elder is the Scotch Bourtree.—ns. Eld′er-berr′y, the acidulous purple-black drupaceous fruit of the elder; Eld′er-gun, a popgun made of elder-wood by extracting the pith; Eld′er-wine, a pleasant wine made from elder-berries.—Elder-flower water, distilled water, with an agreeable odour, made from the flowers. [A.S. ellærn, ellen.]

  2. Elder

    eld′ėr, adj. older: having lived a longer time: prior in origin.—n. one who is older: an ancestor: one advanced to office on account of age: one of a class of office-bearers in the Presbyterian Church—equivalent to the presbyters of the New Testament.—n. Eld′erliness.—adj. Eld′erly, somewhat old: bordering on old age.—n. Eld′ership, state of being older: the office of an elder.—adj. Eld′est, oldest. [A.S. eldra, yldra, comp. of eald, old.]

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.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

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

How to pronounce elder?

How to say elder in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of elder in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of elder in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of elder in a Sentence

  1. Reggie Moore:

    Hes a Black elder who didnt deserve to die the way that he did.

  2. Joseph Addison:

    If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.

  3. Larry Elder:

    I’m not somebody who pulls out the race card the way Barack Obama does, the way Al Sharpton does, the way CNN does, the way Black Lives Matter does, maybe it was just an idiot. Maybe it was just a fool. Maybe it was just someone who doesn’t like Larry Elder.

  4. Dan Schnur:

    Despite the fact that Larry Elder is to the right of most Californians on many issues, it's Larry Elder approach to the pandemic that has helped Gavin Newsom more than anything, gavin Newsom isn't just running against Larry Elder and Donald Trump ; Gavin Newsom's running against Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis. Gavin Newsom's framed this as a choice not just between two candidates but between two very different approaches the states have taken in response to the pandemic.

  5. Kevin Faulconer:

    Elder's backwards positions harm women's rights and the livelihoods of California families, elder's lack of judgment and character flaws threaten the success and credibility of this historic recall movement -- Californians will not vote to recall one dysfunctional Governor if it means replacing him with another.

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Translations for elder

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    being essentially equal to something
    • A. epidemic
    • B. unsealed
    • C. equivalent
    • D. ambidextrous

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