\ 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 The country is living through unprecedented times, leaving young and old, left and right, experts and average folks grasping for solid ground, their emotions flipping from fear to hope on a daily if not hourly basis. Jill Tucker, SFChronicle.com, "‘Absolute insanity’: Bay Area residents grapple with assault on democracy amid exploding pandemic," 10 Jan. 2021 The shooting of a 15-year-old girl was still being investigated, according to police. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Chicago-area shooting spree leads to at least 5 deaths, including suspect: reports," 10 Jan. 2021 Details were sketchy on a Jan. 3 incident at the Extended Stay South where officers responded to a room around 1:30 a.m. for a welfare check involving a Euclid woman, 23, and a 6-month-old baby girl with a Cleveland Heights address. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Fleeing driver ditches car, jumps off 2nd level of Pinecrest parking garage: Orange Police Blotter," 10 Jan. 2021 After leaving the store, Nightengale shot a 15-year-old girl who was riding in a car with her mother, leaving the girl in critical condition, police said. Arkansas Online, "Police: Man shoots 7 in series of Chicago-area attacks," 10 Jan. 2021 The teens in the group shared rumors the victim had assaulted a 13-year-old girl, court records show. Garrett Andrews, oregonlive, "Bend teenager stabbed in plan ‘to teach him a lesson’," 9 Jan. 2021 Crews on Monday were still searching for the 4-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl after their father, Michael Wyman, drowned while trying to save them at Blind Beach in Sonoma County. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Father drowns while trying to save his 2 children swept out to sea, California authorities say," 5 Jan. 2021 Asking Kenya Moore to come to a party with good intentions is like asking a 9-year-old girl to open a can of baked beans without any instructions. Chris Murphy, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Surprise, Surprise," 4 Jan. 2021 The 16-year-old girl was taken to the same hospital with serious injuries. Henri Hollis, ajc, "Weekend crash in Cobb sends 5 family members to hospital," 4 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Andrea Vallone, a 27-year old who works at a major tech company, started banking on Hinge after hearing about the idea through Kawahata. Kaya Yurieff And Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "Swipe right. People are using dating apps to reach voters in swing states," 2 Nov. 2020 Tiz the Law, a majestic-looking colt with a striking white blaze covering most of his face, has established himself as the dominant 3-year old of this year and the heavy favorite in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Tiz the Law shows greatness, but if colt wins Triple Crown, should there be an asterisk?," 2 Sep. 2020 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

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

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Old.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/old. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of old for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of old for Arabic Speakers

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