old

adjective
\ 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 intensive a high old time
c used to express an attitude of affection or amusement a big old dogflex the old bicepsany old time

old

noun

Definition of old (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for old

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Antonyms: Adjective

young, youthful

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for old

Adjective

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The hormone, 17α-methyltestosterone (MT), is sometimes prescribed for men with testosterone deficiencies and older women with breast cancer. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Something is changing the sex of Costa Rican crocodiles," 30 Aug. 2017 One button slings light love taps while another lays out a big smack, with a block button rounding out a trio practically as old as video games. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "Absolver hides its depth and beauty amid obtuse design," 29 Aug. 2017 Baffert’s 3-year-old colt West Coast picked up the 3 1/4-length victory over Gunnevera at the 1 1/4-mile dirt course. Staff Reports, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Sports Briefs: Bergman called up by Seattle," 29 Aug. 2017 Sixty-five-year-old Virdell King pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the Labor Management Relations Act. Detroit Free Press, "Former UAW official Virdell King pleads guilty in Fiat Chrysler case," 29 Aug. 2017 But Moholo-Moholo knows his old friends can never be replaced. John Corbett, Chicago Reader, "South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo fans the spark of resistance into the flame of liberated jazz," 29 Aug. 2017 Johnny Depp is saying goodbye to his old Kentucky home. Megan Stein, PEOPLE.com, "Johnny Depp’s $3 Million Kentucky Horse Farm Will Be Sold at Auction," 29 Aug. 2017 For example, radiographic images show old and new fractures, which suggest a pattern of multiple traumatic events. Barbara Sadick, Kaiser Health News, "Elder Abuse: ERs Learn How To Protect A Vulnerable Population," 28 Aug. 2017 Watching Emily Thorne scam every rich person in the Hamptons never gets old. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Watch This: 14 Movies and TV Shows You Absolutely Can't Miss This Week," 27 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Stevens recalls when many of the now-17- and 18-year-olds helping at the fair this year were just starting out at age 8 or 9. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Bringing the '4-H family’ back together: Clubs team up in preparation for Carroll County fair," 25 July 2019 And viewers young and old (mostly us olds) didn't even know what to do with this. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "In HBO's 'Euphoria,' Zendaya Is Already Taking Us On a Wild Ride," 17 June 2019 Only 34% of 11- and 12-year olds, according to a recent study by Blue Cross Blue Shield, were vaccinated in 2016. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "End cervical cancer? The HPV vaccine could do it, study suggests," 27 June 2019 By 2050 today’s 19-year-olds, at age 50, will have seen it all—including the willingness of current leaders either to shrug them off coldly or act to protect them. ... WSJ, "The Children’s Crusade to Save the Planet," 22 Mar. 2019 In the first 15 days of 2018, the American Association of Poison Control Centers says centers got as many calls about intentional laundry packet exposure among 13 to 19-year-olds as they during all of 2016. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "In case you were wondering, this is why eating Tide Pods is terrible for you," 19 Jan. 2018 The Junior Lifeguards program introduces ocean safety, beach activities, fitness and rescue techniques to 8- to 15-year-olds. Faith E. Pinho, latimes.com, "Laguna Beach’s lifeguards celebrate 90 years of rescues," 11 June 2019 Hyatt Hotels Corporation is beginning a plan to hire 10,000 18- to 25-year-olds who are neither working nor in school. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Smucker CEO: Investing in Community 'Pays Off in Long Term'," 11 June 2019 An idea which has been floating around is that of a loan deal where his new club pays the 27-year-old's £480,000-a-week wages. SI.com, "5 Players Real Madrid Need to Sell This Summer to Finance Zinedine Zidane's Squad Rebuild," 13 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of old

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about old

Dictionary Entries near old

olation

Olax

Olcha

old

old Adam

old age

old-age

Statistics for old

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for old

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for old

old

adjective

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

old

noun

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

: a person who has a specified age
: old people

old

adjective
\ 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.

old

noun

Kids Definition of old (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on old

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with old

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for old

Spanish Central: Translation of old

Nglish: Translation of old for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of old for Arabic Speakers

Comments on old

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a haphazard or makeshift solution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!