Definition of geriatric in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌdʒɛrɪˈatrɪk/


1Relating to old people, especially with regard to their health care: a geriatric hospital
More example sentences
  • Max's main studies related to the organisation of primary health services and geriatric healthcare delivery in Israel and he was committed to medical education.
  • How can standards in geriatric health care be raised?
  • Compared with these school environments, the indoor climates at our geriatric hospitals were characterized by higher room temperatures and lower relative humidity.
1.1 informal Decrepit; very old or outdated: replacements for a geriatric locomotive fleet
More example sentences
  • Like the Sea Kings, the Sikorsky Cyclones chosen on July 23 to replace Canada's geriatric fleet of Sea Kings rely on two engines.


An old person, especially one receiving special care: a rest home for geriatrics
More example sentences
  • In both hospitals, the next most often targeted patient types were geriatrics, oncology, and renal patients.
  • Most of the residents here are geriatrics with senile dementia.
  • Let the people vote in who they want to even if he is a senile geriatric with one foot already in the grave.


Geriatric is the normal, semi-official term used in Britain and the US when referring to the health care of old people ( a geriatric ward; geriatric patients). When used outside such contexts, it typically carries overtones of being worn out and decrepit and can therefore be offensive if used with reference to people.


1920s: from Greek gēras 'old age' + iatros 'doctor', on the pattern of paediatric.

  • This word is made up of Greek gēras ‘old age’ and iatros ‘doctor’.

Words that rhyme with geriatric

paediatric (US pediatric), Patrick, psychiatric, theatric

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: geri|at¦ric

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.