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6 definitions found
 for elder
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Elder \Eld"er\, a. [AS. yldra, compar. of eald old. See Old.]
     1. Older; more aged, or existing longer.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Let the elder men among us emulate their own earlier
              deeds.                                --Jowett
                                                    (Thucyd. )
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Born before another; prior in years; senior; earlier;
        older; as, his elder brother died in infancy; -- opposed
        to younger, and now commonly applied to a son, daughter,
        child, brother, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The elder shall serve the younger.    --Gen. xxv.
                                                    23.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              But ask of elder days, earth's vernal hour. --Keble.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Elder hand (Card Playing), the hand playing, or having the
        right to play, first. --Hoyle.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Elder \El"der\, n. [OE. ellern, eller, AS. ellen, cf. LG.
     elloorn; perh. akin to OHG. holantar, holuntar, G. holunder;
     or perh. to E. alder, n.] (Bot.)
     A genus of shrubs ({Sambucus) having broad umbels of white
     flowers, and small black or red berries.
     [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: The common North American species is Sambucus
           Canadensis; the common European species ({S. nigra})
           forms a small tree. The red-berried elder is S.
           pubens. The berries are diaphoretic and aperient. The
           European elder ({Sambucus nigra) is also called the
           elderberry, bourtree, Old World elder, black
           elder, and common elder.
           [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]
  
     Box elder. See under 1st Box.
  
     Dwarf elder. See Danewort.
  
     Elder tree. (Bot.) Same as Elder. --Shak.
  
     Marsh elder, the cranberry tree Viburnum Opulus).
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Elder \Eld"er\, n. [AS. ealdor an elder, prince, fr. eald old.
     See Old, and cf. Elder, a., Alderman.]
     1. One who is older; a superior in age; a senior. --1 Tim. v.
        1.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. An aged person; one who lived at an earlier period; a
        predecessor.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Carry your head as your elders have done.
                                                    --L'Estrange.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. A person who, on account of his age, occupies the office
        of ruler or judge; hence, a person occupying any office
        appropriate to such as have the experience and dignity
        which age confers; as, the elders of Israel; the elders of
        the synagogue; the elders in the apostolic church.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: In the modern Presbyterian churches, elders are lay
           officers who, with the minister, compose the church
           session, with authority to inspect and regulate matters
           of religion and discipline. In some churches, pastors
           or clergymen are called elders, or presbyters.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (M. E. Ch.) A clergyman authorized to administer all the
        sacraments; as, a traveling elder.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Presiding elder (Meth. Ch.), an elder commissioned by a
        bishop to have the oversight of the churches and preachers
        in a certain district.
  
     Ruling elder, a lay presbyter or member of a Presbyterian
        church session. --Schaff.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  elder
      adj 1: used of the older of two persons of the same name
             especially used to distinguish a father from his son;
             "Bill Adams, Sr." [syn: elder, older, sr.]
      n 1: a person who is older than you are [syn: elder, senior]
      2: any of numerous shrubs or small trees of temperate and
         subtropical northern hemisphere having white flowers and
         berrylike fruit [syn: elder, elderberry bush]
      3: any of various church officers

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  288 Moby Thesaurus words for "elder":
     Aaronic priesthood, Bible clerk, Bible reader, Establishment,
     Father Time, Melchizedek priesthood, Methuselah, Nestor, Old Paar,
     Seventy, VIP, acolyte, age, alderman, almoner, anagnost, ancestors,
     antecedent, antecedents, antediluvian, anterior, anticipatory,
     antique, apostle, archon, ascendants, authority, back number,
     bailie, baron, beadle, bedral, big gun, big man, big name, bigwig,
     bishop, boss, brass, brass hat, burghermaster, burgomaster, bwana,
     cabinet member, cabinet minister, caducity, capitular, capitulary,
     celebrity, centenarian, chancellor, chef, chief, choir chaplain,
     church dignitary, churchwarden, ci-devant, city councilman,
     city father, city manager, clerk, commissar, commissioner,
     conservative, councillor, councilman, councilwoman,
     county commissioner, county supervisor, dad, deacon, deaconess,
     dean, dignitary, dignity, doctor, dodo, dotard, doyen, doyenne,
     earlier, early, ecclesiarch, elder statesman, elderliness,
     elderman, elders, eldest, employer, experienced, father, fathers,
     figure, first, first-born, firstling, fogy, fore, forebears,
     forefathers, foregoing, former, fossil, fud, fuddy-duddy, gaffer,
     geezer, golden-ager, goodman, gramps, grandfather, grandfathers,
     grandparents, grandsire, granny, graybeard, great man, great soul,
     guru, has-been, headman, high priest, husband, illuminate,
     important person, induna, intellect, intellectual, interests,
     lay elder, lay reader, lector, lecturer, legislator, liege,
     liege lord, lion, longhair, lord, lord mayor, lord paramount,
     lords of creation, lover of wisdom, magistrate, magnate, mahatma,
     maire, major, man of intellect, man of mark, man of wisdom,
     mandarin, master, mastermind, matriarch, mayor, mentor,
     mid-Victorian, minister, minister of state, mogul, mossback, nabob,
     name, nonagenarian, notability, notable, octogenarian, old age,
     old believer, old chap, old codger, old crock, old dodo, old dog,
     old duffer, old fogy, old geezer, old gent, old gentleman,
     old liner, old man, old party, old poop, old woman, old-timer,
     older, oldest, oldster, oracle, overlord, padrone, panjandrum,
     pantaloon, paramount, parish clerk, paterfamilias, patriarch,
     patriarchs, patron, person of renown, personage, personality,
     philosopher, pillar of society, pop, pops, portreeve, power,
     power elite, preceding, precentor, precurrent, predecessors,
     preexistent, presbyter, previous, priest, prime, primogenitary,
     prior, progenitors, rabbi, reactionary, reader, reeve,
     regular old fogy, relic, respected, rishi, ruling circle,
     ruling elder, sachem, sacrist, sacristan, sage, sahib, sapient,
     savant, scholar, secretary, secretary of state, seer, seigneur,
     seignior, selectman, senectitude, senescence, senior,
     senior citizen, septuagenarian, sexagenarian, sexton, shames,
     sidesman, sire, somebody, something, square, starets, succentor,
     suisse, superior, supervisor, syndic, teacher, teaching elder,
     the great, the quiet-voiced elders, the top, thinker, thurifer,
     top brass, top people, traditionalist, tycoon, undersecretary,
     venerable, venerable sir, verger, vergeress, very important person,
     veteran, warden, wise man, wise old man, worthy, years
  
  

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary :

  Elder
     a name frequently used in the Old Testament as denoting a person
     clothed with authority, and entitled to respect and reverence
     (Gen. 50:7). It also denoted a political office (Num. 22:7). The
     "elders of Israel" held a rank among the people indicative of
     authority. Moses opened his commission to them (Ex. 3:16). They
     attended Moses on all important occasions. Seventy of them
     attended on him at the giving of the law (Ex. 24:1). Seventy
     also were selected from the whole number to bear with Moses the
     burden of the people (Num. 11:16, 17). The "elder" is the
     keystone of the social and political fabric wherever the
     patriarchal system exists. At the present day this is the case
     among the Arabs, where the sheik (i.e., "the old man") is the
     highest authority in the tribe. The body of the "elders" of
     Israel were the representatives of the people from the very
     first, and were recognized as such by Moses. All down through
     the history of the Jews we find mention made of the elders as
     exercising authority among the people. They appear as governors
     (Deut. 31:28), as local magistrates (16:18), administering
     justice (19:12). They were men of extensive influence (1 Sam.
     30:26-31). In New Testament times they also appear taking an
     active part in public affairs (Matt. 16:21; 21:23; 26:59).
     
       The Jewish eldership was transferred from the old dispensation
     to the new. "The creation of the office of elder is nowhere
     recorded in the New Testament, as in the case of deacons and
     apostles, because the latter offices were created to meet new
     and special emergencies, while the former was transmitted from
     the earlies times. In other words, the office of elder was the
     only permanent essential office of the church under either
     dispensation."
     
       The "elders" of the New Testament church were the "pastors"
     (Eph. 4:11), "bishops or overseers" (Acts 20:28), "leaders" and
     "rulers" (Heb. 13:7; 1 Thess. 5:12) of the flock. Everywhere in
     the New Testament bishop and presbyter are titles given to one
     and the same officer of the Christian church. He who is called
     presbyter or elder on account of his age or gravity is also
     called bishop or overseer with reference to the duty that lay
     upon him (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:17-28; Phil. 1:1).
     

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