There are 2 definitions of elder in English:

elder1

Syllabification: eld·er
Pronunciation: /ˈeldər
 
/

adjective

  • 1(Of one or more out of a group of related or otherwise associated people) of a greater age: my elder daughter the elder of the two sons
    More example sentences
    • He was the one who wanted to sleep with his elder brother's wife.
    • His elder brother Ian joined the army and became a lieutenant-colonel in the SAS.
    • She is to be looked after as a mother and respected as an elder sister.
    Synonyms
    older, senior, big
  • 1.1 (the Elder) Used to distinguish between related famous people with the same name: Pliny the Elder
    More example sentences
    • As one of his final actions before leaving the White House in 1992, the elder George Bush, the father of the current president, pardoned Abrams.
    • Dowd was a White House reporter under the elder Bush.
    • One picture shows Wilson and the elder Bush walking through the White House grounds deep in conversation, 30 hours before the launch of the first Gulf war.

noun

(usually elders) Back to top  
  • 1A person of greater age than someone specified: schoolchildren were no less fascinated than their elders take a bit of advice from your elders and betters
    More example sentences
    • Maybe my moral outlook is the result of general respect for elders and betters.
    • It is important to keep a sense of proportion about these things and, it seems to me, there are times when our elders and betters lose the run of themselves.
    • Thank goodness that they have little or no respect for their supposed elders and betters
  • 1.1A person of advanced age.
    More example sentences
    • MUCH-maligned Tadcaster, home to three large breweries, is not noted for handing out advice to its so-called elders and betters - whoever they may be.
    • It is a welcome relief to elders on the White Earth Reservation, where the median income is less than $10,000 a year.
    • The Western society does not treat its elders, black, white or whatever, as well as the society in the East, correct, where they are almost revered?
  • 1.2 (often elders) A leader or senior figure in a tribe or other group: a council of village elders
    More example sentences
    • One of the tribe's elders remembered the Yawalapiti village used to be in a forest clearing near the Tuatuari River.
    • Closest to the fire sat the village elders and leaders, then sat the able-bodied men, and the outside of the huddle consisted of the women and children.
    • In Kabul, they were handed over to village chiefs and tribal elders who pledged to support the new administration.
    Synonyms
    leader, senior figure, patriarch, father
  • 1.3An official in the early Christian Church, or of various Protestant Churches and sects.
    More example sentences
    • The church made its first momentous step toward diversity when the elders of the church in Jerusalem opened the Christian movement to gentiles.
    • The elders of Walton Evangelical Church led the induction service.
    • For example, Paul reminded the elders of the church of Ephesus of one saying of Jesus.

Derivatives

eldership

noun
More example sentences
  • The eldership is a very strong element of our tradition and we expressed a lot of concern about the reduction in their role under the proposed new structure.
  • She congratulated him on his 40 years in the world of art and on his recent award of a staff of eldership and chief's title in the Orisha community.
  • The Moderator has said her appointment should be a significant boost to the eldership in Scotland and to the role of women in the church.

Origin

Old English ieldra, eldra, of Germanic origin; related to German älter, also to eld and old.

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Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
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There are 2 definitions of elder in English:

elder2

Syllabification: eld·er
Pronunciation: /
 
ˈeldər/

noun

(also elderberry)
  • A small tree or shrub with pithy stems, typically having white flowers and bluish-black or red berries.
    • Genus Sambucus, family Caprifoliaceae: numerous species, in particular the common North American S. canadensis and the Eurasian S. nigra
    More example sentences
    • A factory farm stood silent and abandoned, hedges of elders dripped berries and were decorated with white trumpets of bindweed.
    • In Prussia the coal of the alder, lime tree, poplar, elder, willow, hemp, and hazel is used for powder.
    • It connected us with a fruity hedge with brambles, rosehips, sloes, and a hundred yards of elders weighed down with berries.

Origin

Old English ellærn; related to Middle Low German ellern, elderne.

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