Meaning of OLD in English

OLD

/ əʊld; NAmE oʊld/ adjective

( old·er , old·est )

AGE

1.

be ... years, months, etc. ~ of a particular age :

The baby was only a few hours old.

In those days most people left school when they were only fifteen years old.

At thirty years old, he was already earning £40 000 a year.

two fourteen-year-old boys

a class for five-year-olds (= children who are five)

I didn't think she was old enough for the responsibility.

How old is this building?

He's the oldest player in the team.

She's much older than me.

NOT YOUNG

2.

having lived for a long time; no longer young :

to get / grow old

The old man lay propped up on cushions.

She was a woman grown old before her time (= who looked older than she was) .

OPP young

3.

the old noun [ pl. ] old people :

The old feel the cold more than the young.

NOT NEW

4.

having existed or been used for a long time :

old habits

He always gives the same old excuses.

This carpet's getting pretty old now.

OPP new

5.

[ only before noun ] former; belonging to past times or a past time in your life :

Things were different in the old days .

I went back to visit my old school.

Old and Middle English

6.

[ only before noun ] used to refer to sth that has been replaced by sth else :

We had more room in our old house.

OPP new

7.

[ only before noun ] known for a long time :

She's an old friend of mine (= I have known her for a long time) .

We're old rivals.

—compare recent

GOOD OLD / POOR OLD

8.

[ only before noun ] ( informal ) used to show affection or a lack of respect :

Good old Dad!

You poor old thing!

I hate her, the silly old cow!

IDIOMS

- any old how

- any old ...

- as old as the hills

- for old times' sake

- the good / bad old days

- of old

- old boy, chap, man, etc.

- old enough to be sb's father / mother

- old enough to know better

- (have) an old head on young shoulders

- the (same) old story

- an old wives' tale

- one of the old school

—more at chip noun , fool noun , grand adjective , heave-ho , high adjective , money , ripe , settle verb , teach , tough adjective , trick noun

••

SYNONYMS

old

elderly ♦ aged ♦ long-lived ♦ mature

These words all describe sb who has lived for a long time or that usually lives for a long time.

old

having lived for a long time; no longer young:

She's getting old—she's 75 next year.

elderly

( rather formal ) used as a polite word for 'old':

She is very busy caring for two elderly relatives.

aged

( formal ) very old:

Having aged relatives to stay in your house can be quite stressful.

long-lived

having a long life; lasting for a long time:

Everyone in my family is exceptionally long-lived.

mature

used as a polite or humorous way of saying that sb is no longer young:

clothes for the mature woman

PATTERNS AND COLLOCATIONS :

a(n) old / elderly / aged / long-lived / mature man / woman

a(n) old / elderly / aged / mature gentleman / lady / couple

fairly / quite old / elderly / aged / long-lived / mature

very / really / extremely old / elderly / aged / long-lived

remarkably old / long-lived

••

WHICH WORD

older / elder

The usual comparative and superlative forms of old are older and oldest :

My brother is older than me.

The palace is the oldest building in the city.

In BrE you can also use elder and eldest when comparing the ages of people, especially members of the same family, although these words are not common in speech now. As adjectives they are only used before a noun and you cannot say 'elder than':

my older / elder sister

the elder / older of their two children

I'm the eldest / oldest in the family.

••

WORD ORIGIN

Old English ald , of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch oud and German alt , from an Indo-European root meaning adult , shared by Latin alere nourish.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.