old Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “old” in the English Dictionary

"old" in British English

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oldadjective

uk   /əʊld/  us   /oʊld/
  • old adjective (NOT YOUNG/NEW)

A1 having lived or existed for many years: an old man We're all getting older. I was shocked by how old he looked. Now come on, you're old enough to tie your own shoelaces, Carlos. I'm too old to be out in the clubs every night. a beautiful old farm house in the country a battered old car That's an old joke - I've heard it about a thousand times. I think this cheese is old, judging by the smell of it.
too old disapproving (UK also a bit old, US also a little old)
unsuitable because intended for older people: Don't you think that book is too old for you?

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  • old adjective (WHAT AGE)

A1 used to describe or ask about someone's age: How old is your father? Rosie's six years old now. It's not very dignified behaviour for a 54-year-old man. He's a couple of years older than me.

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  • old adjective (FROM THE PAST)

A2 [before noun] from a period in the past: I saw my old English teacher last time I went home. He bought me a new phone to replace my old one. She showed me her old school. I saw an old boyfriend of mine. In my old job I had less responsibility.
Synonym

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  • old adjective (LANGUAGE)

Old English, French, etc.
a language when it was in an early stage in its development
  • old adjective (VERY FAMILIAR)

A2 [before noun] (especially of a friend) known for a long time: She's one of my oldest friends - we met in kindergarten.
[before noun] informal used before someone's name when you are referring to or talking to them, to show that you know that person well and like them: There's old Sara working away in the corner. I hear poor old Frank's lost his job.

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oldnoun [plural]

uk   /əʊld/  us   /oʊld/
(Definition of old from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"old" in American English

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oldadjective [-er/-est only]

 us   /oʊld/
having lived or existed for a long time in comparison to others of the same kind: An old man lives there with his dog. They have a beautiful old farm house in the country. She got very depressed in her old age (= the time of her life when she was old).
(esp. of a friend) known for a long time: She’s one of my oldest friends.
infml Old is also used to show that you know and like someone: Poor old Frank broke his arm.
having a particular age, or an age suited to a particular activity or condition: a 14-year-old Charlie is older than I. You’re old enough to know better.
from a previous time or a period in the past; former : Our old house in Lakewood burned down. Sharon gave her old skates to her younger cousin.
(Definition of old from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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