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

justice

fairness in the way people are dealt with

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More