ge·​ri·​at·​ric | \ ˌjer-ē-ˈa-trik How to pronounce geriatric (audio) , ˌjir- \

Definition of geriatric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 geriatrics\ ˌjer-​ē-​ˈa-​triks How to pronounce geriatrics (audio) , ˌjir-​ \ plural in form but singular in construction : a branch of medicine that deals with the problems and diseases of old age and the medical care and treatment of aging people An old family member is often the inspiration for medical students who choose geriatrics.— Katie Hafner — compare gerontology
2 : an aged person To put it mildly, the geriatrics of the entertainment industry didn't see this coming.— John Perry Barlow



Definition of geriatric (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of or relating to geriatrics or the process of aging
b : of, relating to, or appropriate for elderly people the geriatric set
2a : old, elderly a geriatric dachshund
b : old and outmoded geriatric airplanes

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Synonyms & Antonyms for geriatric

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Did You Know?

Since most medical care is devoted to those over 65, geriatrics, the medical treatment of the elderly, is a highly important specialty. The specific problems of the elderly include physical inactivity and instability, which result from weakness and loss of energy. Weakness of the eyes and ears plays a role, and weakening of the immune system often leads to more disease. All these conditions can be made worse by mental problems, such as declining intellectual activity, declining memory, and depression, which may prevent the patient from taking action to improve his or her condition. But the effects of aging can be greatly relieved by proper care. And the greatest improvement often results when the patient is persuaded to become more physically, mentally, and socially active.

Examples of geriatric in a Sentence

Noun most of the clinic's outpatients are geriatrics living on fixed incomes Adjective children who think that anyone over the age of 40 is geriatric went into nursing to work with geriatric patients
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet geriatrics is badly scanted in standard medical training. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "‘Elderhood’ Review: The Way We Age Now," 17 Jan. 2020 At the same time, hospitals have long had financial incentives not to keep Medicare patients for long periods, noted Dr. Diane Meier, a professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York., "The last time Americans died at home at the current rate was the middle of the last century, according to Dr. Haider Warraich, a cardiologist at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and a coauthor of the new research.," 13 Dec. 2019 Other geriatric care managers are social workers or have other degrees related to geriatrics. Alix Boyle,, "Geriatric care managers: They can save older adults and their families time and money," 17 Oct. 2019 There, 1,500 dedicated staff members provide compassionate and innovative medical, dental, and behavioral health services to 105,000 patients of all backgrounds, in a continuum of care from pediatrics to geriatrics. San Diego Union-Tribune, "A 50th Anniversary Fiesta," 29 Aug. 2019 UC San Diego facilities in La Jolla and Hillcrest ranked 14th in the nation for pulmonology, 29th for geriatrics, 40th for neurology and neurosurgery and 44th for cardiology and cardiac surgery. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Scripps La Jolla hospitals retain top spot in 2019 U.S. News rankings," 30 July 2019 High performing specialties include geriatrics, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, and pulmonary and lung services. Cindy Krischer Goodman,, "Cleveland Clinic Florida back on top of list of South Florida’s best hospitals," 30 July 2019 Hopkins was ranked nationally in 15 specialties, including being ranked No. 1 in geriatrics, neurology & neurgosurgery, and rheumatology, and No. 2 in nephrology and urology. Lillian Reed,, "Johns Hopkins Hospital named No. 3 nationally by U.S. News & World Report," 30 July 2019 The latest iteration provides filters that turn users either into smooth-faced baby versions of themselves or wrinkly geriatrics with a smattering of sun spots and gray hair. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Thanks to FaceApp, These Celebrities Aged Overnight," 17 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Kaling tackles the topic of geriatric pregnancy in the comedy Expecting, about a 39-year-old music manager who asks her gay best friend to be her sperm donor. Rosy Cordero,, "MacGruber TV series, Laverne Cox-led comedy among six shows announced for NBC's Peacock," 16 Jan. 2020 District of Columbia Washington: A male harbor seal considered geriatric for his species has died at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. USA TODAY, "Cheetah run, mountain-man biathlon, prodigal emu: News from around our 50 states," 28 Jan. 2020 In one episode, grandma drags Nora along on a trip to Atlantic City, where the group of elderly Chinese ladies have what amounts to a turf battle with a equally geriatric Korean group. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Awkwafina is Nora From Queens' doesn't add to its star's current moment," 21 Jan. 2020 In 2018, the VA's Office of Inspector General found multiple flaws in five of eight areas scrutinized: deficient safety processes, inspections, geriatric medical evaluations and mental health diagnostics. Isabella Hulsizer, azcentral, "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and ASU team up on survey to improve VA health care," 21 Nov. 2019 Compared to farm dogs in the past, today’s pampered pups live longer and get more geriatric diseases, said veterinarian Dr. Kate Creevy of Texas A&M University, the project’s chief scientific officer. NBC News, "Old dogs, new tricks: 10,000 pets needed for science," 14 Nov. 2019 The camera then settles on De Niro as a geriatric Frank Sheeran, before Frank’s narration quickly shifts us to a flashback, a move reminiscent of the way Goodfellas’ own narrator, Henry Hill, introduces his story. Jack Hamilton, The Atlantic, "Goodbye to the Goodfellas," 31 Oct. 2019 Jordan Yates, Powhatan’s activities coordinator, said the facility has a geriatric psychiatrist who talks to residents and adjusts their medication dosages. Lauren Lumpkin, The Denver Post, "With virtual reality, woman helps nursing-home residents see the world without leaving home," 27 Oct. 2019 Consider getting a geriatric social worker involved: Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Controlling sister doesn’t like brother’s care for their Mom," 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'geriatric.' 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 geriatric


1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for geriatric

Adjective and Noun

Greek gēras old age + English -iatric

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Time Traveler for geriatric

Time Traveler

The first known use of geriatric was in 1909

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Statistics for geriatric

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Geriatric.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for geriatric


How to pronounce geriatric (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of geriatric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an old person



English Language Learners Definition of geriatric (Entry 2 of 2)

medical : of or relating to the process of growing old and the medical care of old people : of or relating to geriatrics


ge·​ri·​at·​ric | \ ˌjer-ē-ˈa-trik How to pronounce geriatric (audio) , ˌjir- How to pronounce geriatric (audio) \

Medical Definition of geriatric

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 geriatrics plural in form but singular in construction : a branch of medicine that deals with the problems and diseases of old age and aging people — compare gerontology
2 : an aged person



Medical Definition of geriatric (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to geriatrics or its practice the geriatric department in a hospital a geriatric ward
2 : of, relating to, affecting, or being aged individuals the geriatric population geriatric depression treated geriatric animals

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