elder statesman


Definition of elder statesman

: an eminent senior member of a group or organization especially : a retired statesman who unofficially advises current leaders

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for elder statesman



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of elder statesman in a Sentence

an elder statesman of baseball coaches the elder statesman of the White House correspondents is finally retiring after nearly a half century of service
Recent Examples on the Web Regional powers appointed Thabo Mbeki, then president of South Africa, to mediate a political rapprochement, but Mr. Mugabe, the elder statesman and liberation hero, outmaneuvered his younger neighbor. Alan Cowell, New York Times, "Robert Mugabe, Strongman Who Cried, ‘Zimbabwe Is Mine,’ Dies at 95," 22 Nov. 2017 Suárez, bald and bespectacled, in a white guayabera, took the microphone first, playing the role of elder statesman. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "The Fight for the Latino Vote in Florida," 16 Sep. 2019 Winger Eder Arreola, the team’s elder statesman at 27, was part of U.S. Soccer’s under-17 residency program in Bradenton, Fla., and an all-conference player at UCLA before playing in pro leagues in the U.S., Mexico and Armenia. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ready or not, San Diego’s 1904 FC about to start pro soccer odyssey," 4 Sep. 2019 Marcus has graduated to a Gears elder statesman, in terms of offering guidance and wisdom either as a sidekick or a voice in a headset. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Gears of War 5 hands-on: A new blockbuster for the game-subscription era," 30 Aug. 2019 Biden also evolved into a beloved elder statesman for many Democrats during those years, particularly after the 2015 death of his son Beau, who succumbed to brain cancer at age 46. Bill Barrow, The Denver Post, "Biden is still the Democrat to beat, but rivals see weakness," 10 Aug. 2019 DeMarre Carroll, Nets forward A respected elder statesman, Carroll boasts an extensive playoff resume that includes trips to the Eastern Conference finals with Atlanta in 2015 and Toronto in 2016. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors offseason plan: Who will replace Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson?," 16 June 2019 Sir Michael Kadoorie, the charismatic elder statesman, heir, visionary of today's Peninsula Hotels—and storied car collector himself—sketched out the Quail, now in its 16th year, as a tonic to the storied, more formal dowager, the Concours. Alex Hitz, Town & Country, "The Quail Is the Highlight of Monterey Car Week," 6 Sep. 2018 For an elder statesman in a leaderless party, one who long envisioned himself in the top job, the pull toward another presidential bid is strong. Thomas Beaumont, The Seattle Times, "Will Joe run? Biden feels the push to take on Trump in 2020," 4 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elder statesman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of elder statesman

1904, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about elder statesman

Statistics for elder statesman

Last Updated

19 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for elder statesman

The first known use of elder statesman was in 1904

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for elder statesman

elder statesman


English Language Learners Definition of elder statesman

: a retired government leader who gives advice to current leaders
: a respected man who has been a member of a group or organization for a long time

More from Merriam-Webster on elder statesman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for elder statesman

Comments on elder statesman

What made you want to look up elder statesman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something of little or no value

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!