el·​der·​ly | \ ˈel-dər-lē How to pronounce elderly (audio) \

Definition of elderly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : rather old especially : being past middle age
2 : of, relating to, or characteristic of later life or elderly persons


plural elderly or elderlies

Definition of elderly (Entry 2 of 2)

: an elderly person

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Other Words from elderly


elderliness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for elderly

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of elderly in a Sentence

Adjective The program is intended to provide medical care for elderly people. elderly people who stay active are usually the healthiest and the happiest
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Small groups of elderly worshippers trickle in and out. BostonGlobe.com, 10 Oct. 2021 The elderly Parma driver was disoriented and got lost. Joan Rusek, cleveland, 10 Oct. 2021 The drama follows an elderly but fit doctor, played by Héctor Noguera, who is suddenly hospitalized with the Guillain-Barré disorder whereby a body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Anna Marie De La Fuente, Variety, 9 Oct. 2021 Justin Daniel Martinez, 36, is now facing a charge of escape in addition to his initial arrest in May on a count of injury to elderly. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Oct. 2021 Yet, elderly, differently-abled, or otherwise vulnerable tenants may think abrupt changes are more about their identity than their finances. Nafeesah Allen, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Oct. 2021 That week, the elderly couple used a swamp cooler and fans to try to cool their home. Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2021 Her platform included prioritizing youth and elderly wellness initiatives, homelessness, economic development and government transparency. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 7 Oct. 2021 The federal government may have to delay reimbursements to Medicare and Medicaid providers, potentially harming doctors, hospitals and insurers that provide care for low-income and elderly patients. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elderly.' 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 elderly


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1865, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for elderly

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The first known use of elderly was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near elderly

elder fungus



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Statistics for elderly

Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Elderly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elderly. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for elderly



English Language Learners Definition of elderly

: old or rather old : past middle age


el·​der·​ly | \ ˈel-dər-lē How to pronounce elderly (audio) \

Kids Definition of elderly

: somewhat old

More from Merriam-Webster on elderly

Nglish: Translation of elderly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of elderly for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about elderly


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