el·der·ly | \ ˈel-dər-lē \

Definition of elderly 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : rather old especially : being past middle age

b : old-fashioned

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, senescent, senior

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

Ride-hailing also offers greater independence for elderly and disabled populations. Daniel Sperling, Scientific American, "Can Ride-Hailing Improve Public Transportation Instead of Undercutting It?," 5 July 2018 Individuals with disabilities, the elderly and frequent travelers are most likely to benefit, Singer said. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "New Scottsdale service will send someone to take the trash out for you," 3 July 2018 Where has all the money gone for the care of our precious elderly and disabled individuals? Courant Community, "Community News For The Wethersfield Edition," 2 July 2018 Exemptions are provided for families who are disabled, elderly, or those affected by hardship, as determined by the HUD. Jonathan Sperling, Fortune, "Low-Income Households Could See 20% Rent Increase Under Latest HUD Proposal," 7 June 2018 An awkward framing device, depicting the elderly D.C. relating the tale to his young granddaughter, mainly seems an opportunity for Knoxville to recycle his Bad Grandpa make-up. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Action Point': Film Review," 1 June 2018 Other reductions to Medicaid services would also be required to make the House budget work, though House members protected elderly and disabled residents in long-term care facilities, whose benefits were previously on the chopping block. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "Louisiana House approves budget that leaves TOPS, health care short of funding," 31 May 2018 Being an aid meant dispensing prescription drugs—even ones the rehab patients were addicted to—as well as bathing disabled and/or elderly residents and changing their diapers. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "“Like slavery”: Rehab patients forced into unpaid labor to cover “treatment”," 22 May 2018 Last month, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved a state budget that would cut four Medicaid programs for the disabled and elderly, The Times-Picayune reported. Tina Burnside And Darran Simon, CNN, "Tens of thousands of Louisiana residents could lose Medicaid benefits," 9 May 2018

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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Phrases Related to elderly

the elderly

Statistics for elderly

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of elderly

: somewhat old

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Comments on elderly

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the setting in which something occurs

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