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

piglet

a baby pig

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More