Definition of Elder

1. Adjective. Used of the older of two persons of the same name especially used to distinguish a father from his son. "Bill Adams, Sr."

Exact synonyms: Older, Sr.
Similar to: Senior

2. Noun. A person who is older than you are.
Exact synonyms: Senior
Generic synonyms: Adult, Grownup
Specialized synonyms: Dean, Doyen, Doyenne

3. Noun. Any of numerous shrubs or small trees of temperate and subtropical northern hemisphere having white flowers and berrylike fruit.

4. Noun. Any of various church officers.
Generic synonyms: Church Officer
Specialized synonyms: Presbyter
Derivative terms: Eldership

Definition of Elder

1. a. Older; more aged, or existing longer.

2. n. One who is older; a superior in age; a senior.

3. n. A genus of shrubs (Sambucus) having broad umbels of white flowers, and small black or red berries.

Definition of Elder

1. Adjective. Comparative of old; greater than another in age or seniority. ¹

2. Noun. An older person or an older member, usually a leader, of some community. ¹

3. Noun. An officer of a church, sometimes having teaching responsibilities ¹

4. Noun. (US Mormonism) The lowest office in the Melchizedek priesthood. ¹

5. Noun. (US Mormonism) One ordained to the office of elder. ¹

6. Noun. (US Mormonism) Male missionary, title for a male missionary; title for a general authority. ¹

7. Noun. (context: paganism) A priest or priestess in the modern pagan tradition known as Asatru or Heathenry. ¹

8. Noun. A small tree of the genus ''Sambucus'' having white flowers in a cluster, and purple berries. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Elder

1. an older person [n -S]

Medical Definition of Elder

1. A genus of shrubs (Sambucus) having broad umbels of white flowers, and small black or red berries. The common North American species is Sambucus Canadensis; the common European species (S. Nigra) forms a small tree. The red-berried elder is S. Pubens. The berries are diaphoretic and aperient. Box elder. See 1st Box. Dwarf elder. See Danewort. Elder tree. Same as Elder. Marsh elder, the cranberry tree Viburnum Opulus). Origin: OE. Ellern, eller, AS. Ellen, cf. LG. Elloorn; perh. Akin to OHG. Holantar, holuntar, G. Holunder; or perh. To E. Alder, n. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Elder

elder (current term)
elder abuse
elder hand
elder statesman
elderberry bush

Literary usage of Elder

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Notes and Queries by Martim de Albuquerque (1907)
"Tradition also has it that Judas hung himself upon an elder ; and this, ... Much use has been made of the elder and its products in medicine, ..."

2. Publications by English Dialect Society (1886)
"Suss. Parish. elder, Bishop's. See Bishop's elder. elder, Dwarf. ... Also as an adjective, meaning made of elder. See elder. Eldin, or Elden. ..."

3. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London by Royal Society (Great Britain) (1903)
"14-1249 SD of elder brother's age.. = 2 -5121 Mean head-length, ... When the elder brother is 6, his younger brother is probably 2'1 years younger than he ..."

4. The Iliad of Homer by Homer, John Graham Cordery (1871)
"Till down the blast hath come inclined from heaven ; So sway'd the elder, ... And thus the elder met them ; all who saw Felt their pulse throb the quicker ..."

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