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adjective \ˈōld; for sense 9 usually ˈōl\

Simple Definition of old

  • : having lived for many years : not young

  • —used to talk about or ask about a person's age

  • : having a specified age

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of old

  1. 1 a :  dating from the remote past :  ancient <old traditions> b :  persisting from an earlier time <an old ailment> <they brought up the same old argument> c :  of long standing <an old friend>

  2. 2 a :  distinguished from an object of the same kind by being of an earlier date <many still used the old name> b capitalized :  belonging to an early period in the development of a language or literature <Old Persian>

  3. 3 :  having existed for a specified period of time <a child three years old>

  4. 4 :  of, relating to, or originating in a past era <old chronicles record the event>

  5. 5 a :  advanced in years or age <an old person> b :  showing the characteristics of age <looked old at 20>

  6. 6 :  experienced <an old trooper speaking of the last war>

  7. 7 :  former <his old students>

  8. 8 a :  showing the effects of time or use :  worn, aged <old shoes> b :  no longer in use :  discarded <old rags> c :  of a grayish or dusty color <old mauve> d :  tiresome <gets old fast>

  9. 9 a :  long familiar <same old story> <good old Joe> b —used as an intensive <a high old time> c —used to express an attitude of affection or amusement <a big old dog> <flex the old biceps> <any old time>

Examples of old in a sentence

  1. He's an old man now.

  2. We rented an old black-and-white movie.

  3. There's an old saying that good fences make good neighbors.

  4. a new approach to an old problem

  5. She wore a T-shirt and an old pair of jeans.

  6. I wish you would stop wearing that dirty old hat!

  7. The hotel was old and dingy.

  8. the oldest known civilization in the region

  9. The house we live in is 50 years old.

  10. We went back to visit our old neighborhood.

Origin and Etymology of old

Middle English, from Old English eald; akin to Old High German alt old, Latin alere to nourish, alescere to grow, altus high, deep

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of old

old, ancient, venerable, antique, antiquated, archaic, obsolete mean having come into existence or use in the more or less distant past. old may apply to either actual or merely relative length of existence <old houses> <an old sweater of mine>. ancient applies to occurrence, existence, or use in or survival from the distant past <ancient accounts of dragons>. venerable stresses the impressiveness and dignity of great age <the family's venerable patriarch>. antique applies to what has come down from a former or ancient time <collected antique Chippendale furniture>. antiquated implies being discredited or outmoded or otherwise inappropriate to the present time <antiquated teaching methods>. archaic implies having the character or characteristics of a much earlier time <the play used archaic language to convey a sense of period>. obsolete may apply to something regarded as no longer acceptable or useful even though it is still in existence <a computer that makes earlier models obsolete>.




Simple Definition of old

  • : a person who has a specified age

  • old : old people

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of old

  1. 1 :  one of a specified age —usually used in combination <a 3-year-old>

  2. 2 :  old or earlier time —used in the phrase of old <the cavalry of old>

Examples of old in a sentence

  1. Young and old alike will enjoy the movie.

13th Century

First Known Use of old

13th century

OLD Defined for Kids



adjective \ˈōld\

Definition of old for Students



  1. 1 :  having lived a long time <an old dog>

  2. 2 :  showing the effects of time or use <Grandpa wore an old coat.>

  3. 3 :  having existed for a specified length of time <My brother is three years old.>

  4. 4 :  dating from the distant past :  ancient <an old custom>

  5. 5 :  having lasted or been such for a long time <She's an old friend of mine.>

  6. 6 :  former <My old neighbors came to visit.>




Definition of old for Students

  1. :  a distant or earlier time <Life was tough in days of old.>

Seen and Heard

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to make consistent or congruous

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