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old - definition and synonyms


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adjective old pronunciation in British English /əʊld/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    used for talking about the age of someone or something
    how old:

    She didn’t mention how old her children were.

    ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m 5 years old.’

    old enough to do something:

    He’s not old enough to see this film.

    too old to do something:

    Aren’t you too old to play with dolls?

    1. a.
      used for saying that someone is not as young as other people

      He’s 26 now, which is quite old in this sport.

      the oldest:

      He’s the oldest boy in his class.

      older than:

      I’m older than my brother.

  2. 2
    someone or something that is old has lived a long time

    A lot of old people live alone.

    Trees are the oldest living things on the planet.

    get/grow old:

    I hope I’ll still be able to play golf when I get old.

    1. a.

      the old

      old people. Many people now think that this expression is offensive.
  3. 3
    something that is old has existed or been used for a long time

    There’s an old belief that animals can predict earthquakes.

    Her sewing machine’s really old – it was her mother’s.

    1. a.
      [only before noun] used in a negative way about something that is not useful or in good condition any longer

      Why do you keep all these old newspapers?

      That old car of theirs is getting so unreliable.

    2. b.
      [only before noun] used in a positive way about something that is very familiar

      It was nice to get back into my old routine.

  4. 4
    [only before noun] used for describing something that existed, happened, or was used in the past

    Thy’ is an old way of saying ‘your’.

    Look at all these old machines!

    1. a.
      used for referring to something that has been replaced by a newer thing of the same type

      The old motorway to Glasgow only had two lanes.

    2. b.
      used with the names of towns and countries, for referring to the oldest part or to the way it was in the past

      a tour of Warsaw’s picturesque Old Town

    3. c.
      used with the names of languages to refer to the form of the language that was used in the past

      a poem written in Old English

  5. 5
    informal used for showing that you like someone and care about them

    How is my old buddy Jim?

    dear old:

    Dear old Aunty Emily – what would we do without her?

  6. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    get old to lose appeal, attractiveness, newness; not to be interesting anymore

    Being the houseguest having to sleep on the couch was getting old very quickly.

    Submitted by Boris Marchenko from Russian Federation on 16/08/2014
See also

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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