el·​der·​ly | \ ˈel-dər-lē How to pronounce elderly (audio) \

Definition of elderly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : rather old especially : being past middle age
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of later life or elderly persons


plural elderly or elderlies

Definition of elderly (Entry 2 of 2)

: an elderly person

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Other Words from elderly


elderliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for elderly

Synonyms: Adjective

aged, aging (or ageing), ancient, geriatric, long-lived, old, older, over-the-hill, senescent, senior, unyoung

Antonyms: Adjective

young, youthful

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Examples of elderly in a Sentence


The program is intended to provide medical care for elderly people. elderly people who stay active are usually the healthiest and the happiest

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Huntsville police want your help in finding a woman suspected of scamming an elderly victim out of thousands of dollars. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Police looking for woman who scammed elderly victim out of $3,000," 7 Sep. 2019 That period is living memory for elderly Koreans and continues to be a highly emotive subject in both North and South Korea. Yoonjung Seo, CNN, "'Symbol of the devil': Why South Korea wants Japan to ban the Rising Sun flag from the Tokyo Olympics," 6 Sep. 2019 Boats from either nearby Nassau or the U.S. mainland had not yet reached the island and flights remained the only option for hundreds of sick and elderly residents seeking safer ground. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "No way in, or out: Dorian's damage to Bahamas leaves survivors and rescue teams frustrated," 6 Sep. 2019 The eerie doppelgängers can be seen in various positions across the town—fishermen sitting on the riverbank, students filling entire classrooms, elderly couples resting on benches outside of buildings. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 Additionally, charges can be upgraded for cases that include identity theft or disabled or elderly victims. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office ready to go after porch pirates," 3 Sep. 2019 This was an unlucky doctor who worked in a coastal town with an elderly population. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "What Statistics Can and Can’t Tell Us About Ourselves," 2 Sep. 2019 Still, this elderly Floridian couple seemed committed to their home. NBC News, "Some Floridians refuse to evacuate but worry about Hurricane Dorian's unclear trajectory," 31 Aug. 2019 The bill saves money and reflects the shift to in-home care for the elderly, state social service and budget officials say. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "Concerns increase over fate of nine high-vacancy nursing homes targeted for Medicaid cuts," 28 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of elderly


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1865, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for elderly

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for elderly

The first known use of elderly was in 1611

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More Definitions for elderly



English Language Learners Definition of elderly

: old or rather old : past middle age


el·​der·​ly | \ ˈel-dər-lē How to pronounce elderly (audio) \

Kids Definition of elderly

: somewhat old

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Comments on elderly

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


concealment of treason or felony

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