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

Other Words from elderly


elderliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for elderly

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of elderly in a Sentence

Adjective 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 One of them, a medic, handed out prescription medication for diabetes and hypertension to elderly women. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, 19 May 2022 Christy Hawkins, 45, is charged with first-degree elderly abuse and neglect. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 18 May 2022 Chou, 68, is accused of opening fire Sunday afternoon at a lunch gathering of elderly parishioners at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in the community of Laguna Woods. Amy Taxin And Stefanie Dazio, BostonGlobe.com, 18 May 2022 While the elderly are most vulnerable to serious complications from COVID-19, people between the ages of 36 and 50 were most susceptible to developing long COVID. Paul Best, Fox News, 18 May 2022 On April 25, a keen-eyed Giant Eagle employee called police after questioning why an elderly female customer was buying so many gift cards. John Benson, cleveland, 18 May 2022 Also among those senselessly mowed down were elderly women who were just shopping on a Saturday afternoon: 88-year-old Ruth Whitfield and 65-year-old Celeste Chaney. The Editors, National Review, 17 May 2022 The shooting occurred during a lunch reception of largely elderly congregants to celebrate a Taiwanese pastor's return from a mission trip in Taiwan, Barnes said. Eric Levenson And Elizabeth Joseph, CNN, 17 May 2022 The heroism of the group of elderly parishioners, authorities say, likely saved dozens of lives. Claire Wang, NBC News, 17 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of elderly


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1865, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for elderly

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The first known use of elderly was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near elderly

elder fungus



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Statistics for elderly

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Elderly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elderly. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for elderly


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

Kids Definition of elderly

: somewhat old

More from Merriam-Webster on elderly

Nglish: Translation of elderly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elderly for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elderly


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