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

ancient, elder, golden-ager, old-timer, oldster, senior, senior citizen

Synonyms: Adjective

aged, aging (or ageing), ancient, elderly, long-lived, old, older, over-the-hill, senescent, senior, unyoung

Antonyms: Noun

youngster, youth

Antonyms: Adjective

young, youthful

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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


most of the clinic's outpatients are geriatrics living on fixed incomes


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

Equally valuable—and a bit quicker—is an article (and checklist) about preventive services in Better Health While Aging, a website published by Leslie Kernisan, a specialist in geriatrics. Glenn Ruffenach, WSJ, "A Medical-Screening Checklist for Older Adults," 3 Jan. 2019 Kozar, who is applying to medical schools, said the program helped steer her toward a career in geriatrics. Pat Eaton-robb, Fox News, "Program combats ageism by having students live with seniors," 17 Aug. 2018 Another pilot project, conducted by Dr. Sara Espinoza, associate professor of medicine (geriatrics), examined the effects of a diabetes drug called Metformin in senior adults. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "UT Health research given $24 million vote of confidence," 31 May 2018 Fewer than 1 percent of RNs and fewer than 3 percent of advanced practice RNs are certified in geriatrics, according to the American Geriatric Society. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Home health care providers face strong demand for services," 9 Mar. 2018 While there is a clear distinction between MCI and dementia, according to Dr. Bruce Troen, chief of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the University at Buffalo Medical School there is a 3-fold increase in risk for dementia among those with MCI. Joseph Frankel, Newsweek, "Exercise to Improve Memory and Slow Dementia, New Recommendations Say," 28 Dec. 2017 Great, so people who sit on the job turn into bedridden geriatrics, while those who stand in the office might as well be eating nothing but double cheeseburgers, or going through a pack a day, or maybe both. Jay Willis, GQ, "Bad News: Now Standing at Work Is Killing You, Too," 17 Sep. 2017 Afterward, two ladies channeling Mr. and Mrs. Schumacher (the film’s infamous wallet-lifting geriatrics) led the way, with a feigned, aged saunter, towards the barn. Katie Calautti,, "At the Dirty Dancing Lodge, Fans Can Have the Time of Their Lives," 18 Aug. 2017 The Red Hound of Renown, as he was called in some circles, was a consummate fetch dog, a powerful swimmer and, in his later years, a brazen geriatric with a bottomless bucket list. Greg Trotter,, "A grief considered: Remembering the 'Red Hound of Renown'," 30 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ranked 93rd for overtime was a geriatric nurse at the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "Police, firefighters earn most overtime among public employees, at times doubling salaries," 21 June 2019 Jane worked as a geriatric nursing supervisor at the Wintonbury Manor in Bloomfield., "Jane M. Zurinskas," 13 June 2019 MetroHealth administrators say the outpost meets a critical need, providing prenatal, pediatric and geriatric care, along with a menu of other specialties. Leila Atassi,, "MetroHealth’s Buckeye Health Center to feature wraparound services, social support for patients on poverty’s edge," 7 June 2019 Huguette's insistence on playing a geriatric Eloise-at-Doctors-Hospital raised another quandary for the administrators. Meryl Gordon, Town & Country, "The Curious Life and Shocking Death of Huguette Clark," 21 May 2014 Start with your local council on aging to find a geriatric care manager or social worker. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: They won’t take time out of their great lives to help me," 5 June 2019 Start with your local council on aging to find a geriatric care manager or social worker. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Caretaker needs help from siblings," 5 June 2019 Start with your local council on aging to find a geriatric care manager or social worker. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: Your brothers will let you do all the elder care if you don’t speak up," 5 June 2019 Though the staff helped Ramar manage these issues, he was afflicted with a number of geriatric ailments, including degenerative heart disease and degenerative arthritis. Tony Briscoe,, "Ramar, western lowland gorilla who was Brookfield Zoo's oldest animal, dies at 50," 12 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for geriatric

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for geriatric

The first known use of geriatric was in 1909

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More Definitions for geriatric



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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Comments on geriatric

What made you want to look up geriatric? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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