\ ˈōld How to pronounce old (audio) ; for sense 9 usually ˈōl \

Definition of old

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : dating from the remote past : ancient old traditions
b : persisting from an earlier time an old ailment they brought up the same old argument
c : of long standing an old friend
2a : distinguished from an object of the same kind by being of an earlier date many still used the old name
b capitalized : belonging to an early period in the development of a language or literature Old Persian
3 : having existed for a specified period of time a child three years old
4 : of, relating to, or originating in a past era old chronicles record the event
5a : advanced in years or age an old person
b : showing the characteristics of age looked old at 20
6 : experienced an old trooper speaking of the last war
7 : former his old students
8a : showing the effects of time or use : worn, aged old shoes
b : no longer in use : discarded old rags
c : of a grayish or dusty color old mauve
d : tiresome gets old fast
9a : long familiar same old story good old Joe
b used as an intensivea high old time
c used to express an attitude of affection or amusementa big old dogflex the old bicepsany old time



Definition of old (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one of a specified age usually used in combinationa 3-year-old
2 : old or earlier time used in the phrase of oldthe cavalry of old

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Synonyms & Antonyms for old

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for old


old, ancient, venerable, antique, antiquated, archaic, obsolete mean having come into existence or use in the more or less distant past. old may apply to either actual or merely relative length of existence. old houses an old sweater of mine ancient applies to occurrence, existence, or use in or survival from the distant past. ancient accounts of dragons venerable stresses the impressiveness and dignity of great age. the family's venerable patriarch antique applies to what has come down from a former or ancient time. collected antique Chippendale furniture antiquated implies being discredited or outmoded or otherwise inappropriate to the present time. antiquated teaching methods archaic implies having the character or characteristics of a much earlier time. the play used archaic language to convey a sense of period obsolete may apply to something regarded as no longer acceptable or useful even though it is still in existence. a computer that makes earlier models obsolete

Examples of old in a Sentence

Adjective He's an old man now. We rented an old black-and-white movie. There's an old saying that good fences make good neighbors. a new approach to an old problem She wore a T-shirt and an old pair of jeans. I wish you would stop wearing that dirty old hat! The hotel was old and dingy. the oldest known civilization in the region The house we live in is 50 years old. We went back to visit our old neighborhood. Noun Young and old alike will enjoy the movie.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Chelsea Shepherd, a 27-year-old from Warsaw, was furloughed and then laid off in April from a temp job at medical device maker Zimmer Biomet. Alexandria Burris, The Indianapolis Star, "Amid the pandemic, economists say, some job losses will be permanent," 29 June 2020 Matthew Scott Sartin, a 22-year-old from Pineville, Louisiana, was killed in the crash. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Assistant Selma fire chief charged in deadly I-59/20 hit-and-run near Bessemer," 29 June 2020 In Colorado, protesters shut down a highway during a peaceful demonstration calling for justice in the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old who died after a confrontation with Aurora police officers in August. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for June 29: Coronavirus, Russia, police reform, Facebook, Pakistan," 29 June 2020 Officers were dispatched to the 3000 block of Citation Lane at 10:37 a.m. Friday for a 3-year-old who had just been pulled from a pool, the release states. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "3-year-old dies in Miami Township after drowning, babysitter performed CPR," 28 June 2020 Petre is 28, but functions on the level of a 4-year-old. Anchorage Daily News, "Thousands sick from COVID-19 in homes for the disabled," 28 June 2020 The second hiker is Talal Sabbagh, a 27-year-old from Seattle, who was reported missing on June 22 in Paradise. Fox News, "Searches underway for 3 Mount Rainier hikers missing in separate incidents," 28 June 2020 Fredericks was a 16-year-old who lived at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with 125 other children. refinery29.com, "16-Year-Old Cornelius Fredericks Died At Lakeside Academy. He’s Not Their First Resident To Face Abuse.," 26 June 2020 Four men have been indicted in the slaying of a 22-year-old during a robbery at a northeast Dallas apartment in March. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "4 indicted on capital murder charges in slaying at northeast Dallas apartment," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joi also testified on behalf of a change in state law that eliminated work permits for 16- and 17-year-olds. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dosha 'DJay' Joi, a former foster youth who advocated for others, has died of coronavirus," 22 May 2020 In 2018, just 25.6% of 16-year-olds were licensed to drive, down from 46.2% in 1983, according to a study by Michael Sivak, managing director of Sivak Applied Research. Keith Naughton, Bloomberg.com, "Millennials Could End Up Being a Boon to the U.S. Auto Market," 10 May 2020 This showed that of the 14-18-year-olds who could read fluently, nearly 30% could not apply these reading skills to understand how to use an Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) based on written instructions on the packet. Azeez Gupta, Quartz India, "To fix the education system that’s failing its children, India must think of pre-school learning," 3 Feb. 2020 Three 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old were arrested Wednesday in Cleveland, police spokeswoman Sgt. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Four teens arrested in more than 80 car break-ins in Cleveland and Cleveland Heights, police say," 12 Feb. 2020 Today, the organization encompasses three self-sustaining teams: Tragic City All-Stars (A Team), Iron City Maidens (B Team), and Tragic City Trouble Makers, a junior team of 9- to 18-year-olds that Fallin helped to start in 2017. al, "Get a crash course on Birmingham’s 14-year-old roller derby team," 12 Nov. 2019 Sunday’s Futures Game rosters featured five 24-year-olds. Stephanie Apstein, SI.com, "25 Going on 40: Baseball's Youth Movement Has Taken Over the All-Star Game," 9 July 2019 Five 18-year-olds were charged with possession of alcohol by a minor at 11:36 p.m. June 3 on Wolf Road and Red Oak Drive. Pioneer Press Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Western Springs police blotter: Resident reports losing more than $140,000 in online scam," 13 June 2019 The 24-year old allowed three hits and three walks, and struck out five. Nick Tricome, Philly.com, "Phillies minor league report: IronPigs homer four times to beat Rochester," 22 May 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for old

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Old English eald; akin to Old High German alt old, Latin alere to nourish, alescere to grow, altus high, deep

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Time Traveler for old

Time Traveler

The first known use of old was before the 12th century

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Statistics for old

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Old.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/old. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for old

How to pronounce old (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of old

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having lived for many years : not young
used to talk about or ask about a person's age
: having a specified age



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

: a person who has a specified age
: old people
\ ˈōld How to pronounce old (audio) \
older; oldest

Kids Definition of old

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having lived a long time an old dog
2 : showing the effects of time or use Grandpa wore an old coat.
3 : having existed for a specified length of time My brother is three years old.
4 : dating from the distant past : ancient an old custom
5 : having lasted or been such for a long time She's an old friend of mine.
6 : former My old neighbors came to visit.



Kids Definition of old (Entry 2 of 2)

: a distant or earlier time Life was tough in days of old.

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More from Merriam-Webster on old

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for old

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with old

Spanish Central: Translation of old

Nglish: Translation of old for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of old for Arabic Speakers

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