Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “elder”

See all translations

elder

noun [C] uk   /ˈel.dər/ us    /-dɚ/
C2 an older person, especially one with a respected position in society: You should listen to the advice of your elders. They consulted the village elders. formal She is my elder by three years (= three years older than I am). an official of a religious group: a church elder →  elderberry

elder

adjective uk   /ˈel.dər/ us    /-dɚ/
elder sister/brother/son/daughter
More examples
B1 a sister/brother/son/daughter who is older than the other sister(s), brother(s), etc.
the elder B2 the older person of two people: Of the two brothers Harvey is the elder. used after someone's name to show that they are the older of two people who have the same name, especially a father and son: William Pitt the elder
(Definition of elder from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of elder?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “elder” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be as cold as ice

to be extremely cold

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More