noun \ˈel-dər\

Definition of ELDER

:  elderberry 2

Origin of ELDER

Middle English eldre, from Old English ellærn; perhaps akin to Old English alor alder — more at alder
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Seed Plant Terms

aubergine, box, bramble, briar, composite, perpetual, pulse, trefoil

Rhymes with ELDER



: of greater age

Full Definition of ELDER

:  of earlier birth or greater age <his elder brother>
:  of or relating to earlier times :  former
archaic :  of or relating to a more advanced time of life
:  prior or superior in rank, office, or validity

Origin of ELDER

Middle English, from Old English ieldra, comparative of eald old
First Known Use: before 12th century



Definition of ELDER

:  one living in an earlier period
a :  one who is older :  senior <a child trying to please her elders>
b :  an aged person
:  one having authority by virtue of age and experience <the village elders>
:  any of various officers of religious groups: as
a :  presbyter 1
b :  a permanent officer elected by a Presbyterian congregation and ordained to serve on the session and assist the pastor at communion
c :  minister 2
d :  a leader of the Shakers
e :  a Mormon ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood
el·der·ship \-ˌship\ noun

First Known Use of ELDER

before 12th century


noun \ˈel-dər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ELDER


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

European red elder (Sambucus racemosa).—A.J. Huxley

Any of about 10 species, mainly shrubs and small trees, that make up the genus Sambucus, in the family Adoxaceae. Most are native to forested temperate or subtropical areas. Elders are important as garden shrubs, as forest plants, and for their berries (elderberries), which provide food for wildlife and are used for wines, jellies, pies, and folk medicines. Elders have divided leaves and flat, roundish clusters of tiny, yellowish-white, saucer-shaped flowers. The American, or sweet, elder (S. canadensis) of North America is the most important species horticulturally.


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