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

Police could not enter the home because inside were three small children and an elderly woman. cleveland.com, "Woman suspended from job shows up anyway, is arrested: Cleveland Heights police blotter," 14 June 2019 While doing a welfare check on an elderly woman, a Minnesota police officer noticed her lawn needed to be cut. Doug Criss, CNN, "5 things to know for June 10: David Ortiz, Mexico, Hong Kong, Sudan, Raytheon, Tonys," 10 June 2019 An elderly woman lives there with a daughter who officials believe may be mentally ill. Frank Shyong, latimes.com, "Police know the mentally ill need more than handcuffs. Their response is shifting," 10 June 2019 An elderly New England woman finds herself being targeted by Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. The Christian Science Monitor, "What is The Christian Science Monitor?," 7 June 2019 So firefighters strapped the elderly woman into a basket to airlift her to a hospital. Author: Timothy Bella, Anchorage Daily News, "74-year-old spins wildly in basket under Arizona rescue helicopter," 5 June 2019 In 2017, doctors reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that the three elderly women lost their vision after being treated at U.S. Stem Cell. NBC News, "FDA wins case against Florida stem cell clinic that harmed three women's vision," 4 June 2019 Witnesses told police an elderly male was hit by a vehicle on Marlborough Avenue and University Avenue shortly after 5 a.m., said San Diego police spokesman Billy Hernandez. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pedestrian hit by pickup, seriously injured in City Heights," 4 June 2019 Houston police have arrested the man accused of punching an elderly woman for no apparent reason outside an Upper Kirby grocery store in March. Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle, "Man arrested after allegedly sucker-punching elderly woman outside of Houston H-E-B," 4 June 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

19 Jun 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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