Simple Definition of senile
: showing a loss of mental ability (such as memory) in old age
Examples of senile in a sentence
Every time I got a government job, I always felt obligated to tell the authorities that I had this mother who had probably been a Communist. It was an annoying piece of baggage. Then eventually she became senile and forgot about politics and actually became very benign. —Larissa MacFarquhar, New Yorker, 10 Dec. 2001
There appears to be little common ground between those who see the paintings [Willem de Kooning's late works] in question as a sublime achievement, a late style comparable to the cut-paper masterpieces of the aging Matisse, and those who describe them as the senile doodlings of a once great artist whose reputation is being damaged for the sake of commercial exploitation. —Calvin Tomkins, New Yorker, 10 Feb. 1997
Franco himself, during the final months of his life, had become a senile, quaking octogenarian. —John A. Crow, Spain: The Root and the Flower, (1963) 1985
a senile man in his eighties
Her mother is becoming senile.
Origin of senile
Latin senilis, from sen-, senex old, old man
First Known Use: 1661
Medical Definition of senile
1: of, relating to, exhibiting, or characteristic of old age <senile weakness>; especially : exhibiting a loss of cognitive abilities (as memory) associated with old age
2: being a cell that cannot undergo mitosis and is in the stage of declining functional capacities prior to the time of death <senile red blood cells>
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