el·​der·​ly | \ ˈel-dər-lē \

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

The 227-bed for-profit facility has a pediatric center and also cares for elderly residents. Mike Catalini, The Seattle Times, "19th case confirmed in viral outbreak that killed 7," 25 Oct. 2018 Tufts Health Plan Foundation is supporting an initiative to make fresh, healthy food available to elderly Lowell residents. Morgan Hughes, BostonGlobe.com, "Curing the flu, wedding dresses for soldiers, and food for the elderly," 13 July 2018 On state media Thursday, the streets of Daraa appeared calm as the national flag - still eschewed by the opposition - fluttered in the wind and military officials strolled around greeting elderly residents. Louisa Loveluck, chicagotribune.com, "Syrian army raises flag above city considered birthplace of uprising against Assad," 12 July 2018 Proceeds from the event will benefit St. Joseph's elderly residents. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Car Show Benefits The Elderly," 11 July 2018 Kim also wounded firefighter Ernesto Torres, 35, and an elderly fellow resident, police said. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "He didn't set out to kill a firefighter, cops say. But he wanted to blow up his neighbor," 28 June 2018 In 2010, a few years after the law took effect, 6.3 percent of non-elderly Massachusetts residents were uninsured, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Mitt Romney's career highlights, from Bain Capital to governing Massachusetts," 27 June 2018 According to his suit, Nixon drove into Eureka, Kan., on July 8, 2016, after a tornado had hit the town to deliver food to elderly residents and to check on a relative who lived there. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "Lawsuit: Meals on Wheels driver, 72, slammed to pavement by Kansas deputy," 30 May 2018 Many of the heat’s victims were elderly poor residents who could not afford air conditioning and did not open windows or sleep outside for fear of crime, according to Eric Klinenberg’s book, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. Cassie Armstrong, OrlandoSentinel.com, "National Heat Awareness Day: Here's how to beat the heat in Central Florida," 25 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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Statistics for elderly

Last Updated

16 Jan 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 \

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).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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