old


old
old (adj.) O.E. ald (Anglian), eald (W.Saxon) "aged, antique, primeval; elder, experienced," from W.Gmc. *althas "grown up, adult" (Cf. O.Fris. ald, Goth. alþeis, Du. oud, Ger. alt), originally a pp. stem of a verb meaning "grow, nourish" (Cf. Goth. alan "to grow up," O.N. ala "to nourish"), from PIE root *al- "to grow, nourish" (Cf. Gk. aldaino "make grow, strengthen," althein, althainein "to get well;" L. alere "to feed, nourish, bring up, increase," altus "high," lit. "grown tall," almus "nurturing, nourishing," alumnus "fosterling, step-child;" O.Ir. alim "I nourish").
The usual PIE root is *sen- (Cf. SENIOR (Cf. senior)). A few Indo-European languages distinguish words for "old" (vs. young) from words for "old" (vs. new), and some have separate words for aged persons as opposed to old things. L. senex was used of aged living things, mostly persons, while vetus (lit. "having many years") was used of inanimate things. Gk. geraios was used mostly of humans; Gk. palaios was used mostly of things, of persons only in a derogatory sense. Greek also had arkhaios, lit. "belonging to the beginning," which parallels Fr. ancien, used mostly with reference to things "of former times."
Old English also had fyrn "ancient," related to O.E. feor "far, distant" (see FAR (Cf. far), and Cf. Goth. fairneis, O.N. forn "old, of old, of former times," O.H.G. firni "old, experienced"). The original Old English vowel is preserved in Scots auld, also in ALDERMAN (Cf. alderman). The original comparative and superlative (elder, eldest) are retained in particular uses.
First record of old-timer is from 1860. Expression old as the hills first recorded 1819. The good old days dates from 1828. Of old "of old times" is from late 14c. Old Glory for "the American flag" is first attested 1862. Old maid "woman who remains single well beyond the usual marrying age" is from 1520s; the card game is attested by that name from 1844. Old man "man who has lived long" is from c.1200; sense of "husband, father, boss" is from 1854, earlier (1830) it was military slang for "commanding officer;" old lady "wife, mother" is attested from c.1775. Old English is attested from 1701, originally as a type of font. Old boy originally was a former pupil of one of the English public schools.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • old — W1S1 [əuld US ould] adj comparative older superlative oldest ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(not new)¦ 2¦(not young)¦ 3¦(age)¦ 4¦(that you used to have)¦ 5¦(familiar)¦ 6¦(very well known)¦ 7 the old days 8 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Old — Old, a. [Compar. {Older}; superl. {Oldest}.] [OE. old, ald, AS. ald, eald; akin to D. oud, OS. ald, OFries. ald, old, G. alt, Goth. alpeis, and also to Goth. alan to grow up, Icel. ala to bear, produce, bring up, L. alere to nourish. Cf. {Adult} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • old — [ ould ] adjective *** ▸ 1 for talking about age ▸ 2 having lived a long time ▸ 3 not new ▸ 4 that existed in the past ▸ 5 for showing you like someone ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) used for talking about the age of someone or something: how old: She didn t… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • old — [ōld] adj. older or elder, oldest or eldest [ME < OE (Anglian) ald, WS eald, akin to Ger alt < IE base * al , to grow > L altus, old, alere, to nourish: basic sense “grown”] 1. having lived or been in existence for a long time; aged 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • Old — or OLD may refer to: Contents 1 Age 2 Places 3 Persons 4 Music 5 Acronyms …   Wikipedia

  • Old 97's — Old 97 redirects here. For the Southern Railway train and its crash, see Wreck of the Old 97. Old 97 s The Old 97 s performing in 2008 Background information …   Wikipedia

  • old — ► ADJECTIVE (older, oldest) 1) having lived for a long time; no longer young. 2) made or built long ago. 3) possessed or used for a long time. 4) dating from far back; long established or known. 5) former; previous. 6) …   English terms dictionary

  • old — 1 *aged, elderly, superannuated Analogous words: *weak, feeble, infirm, decrepit Antonyms: young 2 Old, ancient, venerable, antique, antiquated, antediluvian, archaic, obsolete all denote having come into existence or use in the more or less… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • old — (izg. ȏld) prid. DEFINICIJA ob. u: SINTAGMA old boy (izg. old bȏj) 1. veteran (bivši sportaš, glazbenik i sl.) 2. jedan od partnera više dobi koja je određena posebnim propisima; stariji senior; old fashioned (izg. old fȅšnd) što je nekoć bilo… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Old 8×10 — Studio album by Randy Travis Released July 12, 1988 …   Wikipedia


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