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

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



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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The concept of connecting the plentiful renewable energy sources of North Africa and the Middle East with the high-demand centers of Europe is over a decade old. WIRED, 23 Sep. 2022 Recently opened accounts, applying for new accounts and how old your accounts are can impact your credit score. Clare Mulroy, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2022 But any Pyongyang offerings to Moscow would have limits, as weapon experts have said North Korea’s available stockpile is old, with more sophisticated offerings not yet in mass production. Timothy W. Martin, WSJ, 22 Sep. 2022 Their speed, however, will be limited by the complexities of the 457-mile route, which is old, curvy and carries a mix of freight, commuter and intercity trains. Luz Lazo, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 And the Surface Studio 2 all-in-one—not currently in stock but still listed as a current product—is so old that Microsoft had to change Windows 11's system requirements to include it. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 22 Sep. 2022 Police received a 911 call just before 2 a.m. that a woman who is about 20 years old was lying in the street. Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Enquirer, 21 Sep. 2022 The wooden pews at Saint Mary Mother of God — an inconspicuous Catholic church in the Chinatown area of Washington, D.C., that recently celebrated its 175th anniversary — are old, creaky, and hard. Evan Myers, National Review, 21 Sep. 2022 Unlike the girls season, the boys season is only three games old, but Chino Valley has been similarly dominant following last year’s championship. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 21 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The novel is told from the viewpoint of Davy Ross, a lonely 13-year old who is forced to move in with his estranged mother after his grandmother dies. USA Today, 20 June 2021 There’s a new old on the market: The early aughts are now vintage. New York Times, 22 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 3 Feb. 2020 Three 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old were arrested Wednesday in Cleveland, police spokeswoman Sgt. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 12 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near old



old Adam

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Statistics for old

Last Updated

25 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Old.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/old. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for old


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on old

Nglish: Translation of old for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of old for Arabic Speakers


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