su·​per·​an·​nu·​at·​ed ˌsü-pər-ˈan-yə-ˌwā-təd How to pronounce superannuated (audio)
: outmoded, old-fashioned
superannuated slang
superannuated planes
: incapacitated or disqualified for active duty by advanced age
: older than the typical member of a specified group
a superannuated graduate student

Did you know?

Superannuated was first put to use in English in the 1600s, having been borrowed from Medieval Latin superannuatus, the past participle of "superannuari" ("to be too old")—from Latin super- ("over" or "above") and "annus" ("year"). Shortly thereafter, we made our own verb, "superannuate," from the adjective. Superannuate meant "to retire and pension because of age or infirmity as well as "to declare obsolete," meanings that are still in active service. "Superannuated" can mean "outmoded or old-fashioned," as in "superannuated slang" or "superannuated neckties," or it can simply mean "older than usual."

Examples of superannuated in a Sentence

a periodical that insists on using largely superannuated terms like “editress” and “aviatrix”
Recent Examples on the Web That’s supposed to be bad, it’s argued, because our superannuated political leadership is out of touch with the electorate and blocking younger and (theoretically) more vigorous and intellectually vibrant leaders from taking their hour upon the stage. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2023 Her enjoyable pictures, which first featured in a 2014 French edition, show the adventures of four superannuated farm animals who band together to find a new home in an unfriendly world. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 The idea that August is a quiet month when news takes a vacation has always been a myth of journalism, devised mainly to justify European levels of summer sloth by its more superannuated practitioners. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 29 Aug. 2022 The reformers who rallied around Mohammad Khatami (president from 1997 through 2005) and believed the theocracy could be softened, even superannuated, through the ballot box have been banned from the corridors of power. Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh, WSJ, 19 Oct. 2021 Breasts come in for their share of drollery as well in a play that sets up two superannuated choruses, one droopily male, the other saggingly female. Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 And who knew about the existence, at least in this droll fiction, of an animal shelter for retired police dogs where the superannuated sniffers’ specific talents are listed for potential owners? Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 22 July 2021 Our health care, housing, recreation and retirement institutions are not set up to manage the needs of the superannuated. New York Times, 1 July 2021 Spores have often been suggested as a vehicle for superannuated bacteria. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 4 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'superannuated.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Medieval Latin superannuatus, past participle of superannuari to be too old, from Latin super- + annus year — more at annual

First Known Use

circa 1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of superannuated was circa 1634


Dictionary Entries Near superannuated

Cite this Entry

“Superannuated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: too old for work or use
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