1. Not young; advanced far in years or life; having lived till toward the end of the ordinary term of living; as, an old man; an old age; an old horse; an old tree. "Let not old age disgrace my high desire." (Sir P. Sidney) "The melancholy news that we grow old." (Young)
2. Not new or fresh; not recently made or produced; having existed for a long time; as, old wine; an old friendship. "An old acquaintance."
3. Formerly existing; ancient; not modern; preceding; original; as, an old law; an old custom; an old promise. "The old schools of Greece." . "The character of the old Ligurians." .
4. Continued in life; advanced in the course of existence; having (a certain) length of existence; designating the age of a person or thing; as, an infant a few hours old; a cathedral centuries old. "And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?" (Cen. Xlvii. 8)
In this use old regularly follows the noun that designates the age; as, she was eight years old.
5. Long practiced; hence, skilled; experienced; cunning; as, an old offender; old in vice. "Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old." (Milton)
6. Long cultivated; as, an old farm; old land, as opposed to new land, that is, to land lately cleared.
7. Worn out; weakened or exhausted by use; past usefulness; as, old shoes; old clothes.
8. More than enough; abundant. "If a man were porter of hell gate, he should have old turning the key." (Shak)
9. Aged; antiquated; hence, wanting in the mental vigor or other qualities belonging to youth; used disparagingly as a term of reproach.
10. Old-fashioned; wonted; customary; as of old; as, the good old times; hence, colloquially, gay; jolly.
11. Used colloquially as a term of cordiality and familiarity. "Go thy ways, old lad." Old age, advanced years; the latter period of life. Old bachelor. See Bachelor. Old Catholics. See Catholic. Old English. See English. Old Nick, Old Scratch, the devil.
<zoology> Old lady, a large European noctuid moth (Mormo maura). Old maid. A woman, somewhat advanced in years, who has never been married; a spinster.
<zoology> A duck; the old squaw. Old World, the Eastern Hemisphere.
Synonyms: aged, ancient, pristine, primitive, antique, antiquated, old-fashioned, obsolete.
Origin: 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, Alderman, Aliment, Auld, Elder.
(01 Mar 1998)