Definitions for: Elder

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

Webster (1913) Definition: Eld"er, a. [AS. yldra, compar. of eald old. See Old.]
1. Older; more aged, or existing longer.

Let the elder men among us emulate their own earlier
deeds. --Jowett
(Thucyd. )

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.

The elder shall serve the younger. --Gen. xxv.

But ask of elder days, earth's vernal hour. --Keble.

Elder hand (Card Playing), the hand playing, or having the
right to play, first. --Hoyle.

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.

2. An aged person; one who lived at an earlier period; a

Carry your head as your elders have done.

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.

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.

4. (M. E. Ch.) A clergyman authorized to administer all the
sacraments; as, a traveling elder.

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.

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.

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.

Box elder. See under 1st Box.

Dwarf elder. See Danewort.

Elder tree. (Bot.) Same as Elder. --Shak.

Marsh elder, the cranberry tree Viburnum Opulus).

Synonyms: big(a), elderberry bush, older, senior, senior, sr.

Antonyms: little(a), younger

See Also: adult, American elder, American red elder, black elder, black elderberry, blue elder, blue elderberry, bourtree, bush, church officer, common elder, danewort, dean, doyen, doyenne, dwarf elder, elderberry, European elder, European red elder, genus Sambucus, grownup, presbyter, red-berried elder, Sambucus, Sambucus caerulea, Sambucus canadensis, Sambucus ebulus, Sambucus nigra, Sambucus pubens, Sambucus racemosa, shrub, stinking elder, sweet elder

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