• (British) IPA: /ˈəʊld/, /ˈɔʊld/, /ˈɒʊld/
  • (America) enPR: ōld, IPA: /ˈoʊld/

old (comparative older, superlative oldest)

  1. Of an object, concept, relationship, etc., having existed for a relatively long period of time.
    an old abandoned building;  an old friend
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗:
      They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too.
    1. Of a living being, having lived for most of the expected years.
      a wrinkled old man
    2. Of a perishable item, having existed for most, or more than its shelf life.
      an old loaf of bread
  2. Having been used and thus no longer new or unused.
    I find that an old toothbrush is good to clean the keyboard with.
  3. Having existed or lived for the specified time.
    How old are they? She’s five years old and he's seven. We also have a young teen and a two-year-old child.
    My great-grandfather lived to be a hundred and one years old.
  4. (heading) Of an earlier time.
    1. Former, previous.
      My new car is not as good as my old one.  a school reunion for Old Etonians
      • 1994, Michael Grumley, Life Drawing
        But over my old life, a new life had formed.
    2. That is no longer in existence.
      The footpath follows the route of an old railway line.
    3. Obsolete; out-of-date.
      That is the old way of doing things; now we do it this way.
    4. Familiar.
      • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 37:
        Adrian thought it worth while to try out his new slang. ‘I say, you fellows, here's a rum go. Old Biffo was jolly odd this morning. He gave me a lot of pi-jaw about slacking and then invited me to tea. No rotting! He did really.’
      When he got drunk and quarrelsome they just gave him the old heave-ho.
    5. (UK) Being a graduate or alumnus of a school, especially a public school.
  5. Tiresome.
    Your constant pestering is getting old.
  6. Said of subdued colors, particularly reds, pinks and oranges, as if they had faded over time.
  7. A grammatical intensifier, often used in describing something positive. (Mostly in idioms like good old, big old and little old, any old and some old.)
    We're having a good old time. My next car will be a big old SUV.  My wife makes the best little old apple pie in Texas.
  8. (obsolete) Excessive, abundant.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5 Scene 2:
      URSULA: Madam, you must come to your uncle. Yonder's old coil at home: it is proved, my Lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused;
Synonyms Antonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • French: ancien (used before the noun), ex-
  • German: alt
  • Italian: vecchio
  • Portuguese: antigo
  • Russian: бы́вший
  • Spanish: viejo (used before the noun), sometimes with people ex-
  • French: avoir + period of time
  • German: alt
  • Italian: avere
  • Portuguese: de, com
  • Spanish: de + period of time, que tener + period of time + unit of time
Translations Translations Noun
  1. (with the) People who are old; old beings; the older generation, taken as a group.
    A civilised society should always look after the old in the community.
  2. (in combination) One of a specified age.
    when he was an eight-year-old ; a 62-year-old should

This text is extracted from the Wiktionary and it is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license | Terms and conditions | Privacy policy 0.003
Offline English dictionary