Definition of senile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsēˌnīl/
Pronunciation: /ˈsenīl/


1(Of a person) having or showing the weaknesses or diseases of old age, especially a loss of mental faculties: she couldn’t cope with her senile husband
More example sentences
  • Mr. Jared still lives in that house, now all alone, and the last I heard he was senile in old age, half crazy and awaiting death each day.
  • Ten minutes can be a very long time if one has to listen to someone go on about the digestive disorder their senile aunt suffered from a few months back.
  • I am a senior and when I try to tell the younger generation what really happened they smile and more or less give the idea that old people are senile and the good people of the US would never have committed such an unforgivable sin.
doddering, doddery, decrepit, senescent, declining, infirm, feeble;
aged, long in the tooth, in one's dotage;
mentally confused, having Alzheimer's (disease), having senile dementia
informal past it, gaga
1.1(Of a condition) characteristic of or caused by old age: senile decay
More example sentences
  • Being blessed with many long-lived ancestors - nonagenarians all over the place - I am resigned to seeing Senile Decay as the rather monotonous cause of death.
  • In our case, the senile degeneration of connective tissue is suspected to be the occasion of comedo formation.
  • Could either of these tests predict future disability and senile weakness?


A senile person: you never know where you stand with these so-called seniles
More example sentences
  • It likewise cannot handle the insane and the senile.
  • Then you get a hunting permit, $12 or just $7.50 for juvenile delinquents and the senile.
  • And yes, the evening was also about the world of difference young minds can make when compared to the senile.


Mid 17th century: from French sénile or Latin senilis, from senex 'old man'.

  • sir from Middle English:

    A shortened form of sire that has been a title for a knight since the Middle Ages. Kings were formerly addressed as sire, though now the term is more often used for the male parent of an animal. Sire is from Latin senior (Late Middle English) ‘older, older man’, related to senex ‘old, old man’, from which senate and senile (mid 17th century) also derive. In languages descended from Latin, words based on senior often became the way of addressing a man, for example señor in Spanish, signor in Italian, and the second element of monsieur in French. See also senate

Words that rhyme with senile


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: se·nile

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