Synonyms & Antonyms of old

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 being of advanced years and especially past middle age
  • every day the old fisherman set out in his small boat to brave the dangers of the sea

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Antonyms for old

3 having been such at some previous time
  • I ran into my old fourth-grade teacher yesterday

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4 causing weariness, restlessness, or lack of interest
  • even the most stirring speeches start to get old after you've heard them a few times

Synonyms for old

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Antonyms for old



Synonyms & Antonyms of old (Entry 2 of 2)

as in antiquity, yore

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for old

Antonyms & Near Antonyms for old

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Frequently Asked Questions About old

How does the adjective old differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of old are ancient, antiquated, antique, archaic, obsolete, and venerable. While all these words 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

When can ancient be used instead of old?

While in some cases nearly identical to old, ancient applies to occurrence, existence, or use in or survival from the distant past.

ancient accounts of dragons

When might antiquated be a better fit than old?

In some situations, the words antiquated and old are roughly equivalent. However, antiquated implies being discredited or outmoded or otherwise inappropriate to the present time.

antiquated teaching methods

When would antique be a good substitute for old?

The meanings of antique and old largely overlap; however, antique applies to what has come down from a former or ancient time.

collected antique Chippendale furniture

When is archaic a more appropriate choice than old?

While the synonyms archaic and old are close in meaning, archaic implies having the character or characteristics of a much earlier time.

the play used archaic language to convey a sense of period

In what contexts can obsolete take the place of old?

The words obsolete and old are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, 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

When is it sensible to use venerable instead of old?

The words venerable and old can be used in similar contexts, but venerable stresses the impressiveness and dignity of great age.

the family's venerable patriarch

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Time Traveler for old

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Old.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on old

Dictionary: Definition of old

Nglish: Translation of old for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of old for Arabic Speakers

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