From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englisholdold /əʊld $ oʊld/ ●●●S1W1 adjective (comparative older, superlative oldest)1not newOLD/NOT NEW something that is old has existed or been used for a long time opp newa pair of old shoesSome of the houses around here are very old.one of our oldest traditionsThe car’s getting old now, and things are starting to go wrong with it.That story’s as old as the hills (=extremely old).2not youngOLD/NOT YOUNGa)someone who is old has lived for a very long time opp youngan old mana home for old peopleget/grow oldI can’t run around like I used to – I must be getting old.b)the old [plural] people who are oldthe care of the old and sick3ageAGE used to talk about how long a person or thing has lived or existedfive/ten/fifty etc years oldI can’t believe you’re nearly forty years old!a house that’s 300 years oldHow old are you?Are you older than Sally?You’re old enough to get your own breakfast now.I’m not coming skating. I’m too old for that now.five-year-old/ten-year-old etc somebody/somethinga six-week-old babya 500-year-old swordsomebody is old enough to know better (=used to say that you think someone should behave more sensibly)somebody is old enough to be his/her/your mother/father (=used to say that someone is too old to be having a sexual relationship with someone else)4BEFOREthat you used to have [only before noun] your old house, job, girlfriend etc is one that you used to have syn formerI met up with one of my old girlfriends at the weekend.My old car was always breaking down.That happened when we were still in the old house.My old boss was awful!old flame (=someone with whom you used to have a romantic relationship)► see thesaurus at last5familiar [only before noun]USED TO/ACCUSTOMED TO old things are things that are familiar to you because you have seen them or experienced them many times beforeIt’s good to get back into the old routine.I enjoyed seeing all the old familiar faces.He comes out with the same old excuses every time! → it’s the same old storyat story(9)6very well known [only before noun]LONG TIME an old friend, enemy etc is someone you have known for a long timeBob’s an old friend of mine.an old colleagueThey’re old rivals.7 →the old days8 →the good old days/the bad old days9 →be/feel/look like your old self10 →any old thing/place/time etc11 →any old how/way12 →good/poor/silly old etc somebody13 →a good old something14 →old devil/rascal etc15 →old fool/bastard/bat etc16 →the old guard17 →be an old hand (at something)18 →be old before your time19 →for old times’ sake20 →the old country21 →an old head on young shoulders22 →pay/settle an old score23 →of/from the old school24 →old wives’ tale25 →of old26 →Old English/Old Icelandic etcGRAMMAR: Order of adjectivesIf there is more than one adjective, the adjectives are usually used in a fixed order.You say: There are some nice old houses.✗Don’t say: There are some old nice houses.You say: She was dressed in old black clothes.✗Don’t say: She was dressed in black old clothes.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 3: used to talk about how long a person or thing has lived or existedphrasesbe 5/10/50 etc years oldMy dad is 45 years old.a five-year-old/fifteen-year-old etc somebody/somethinga three-year-old boyhow old is …?‘How old is your daughter?’ ‘She’s ten.’be too old for somethingHe was too old for military service.be old enough to do somethingYou’re old enough to help with the cooking.somebody is old enough to know better (=used when you think someone should behave more sensibly)He’s old enough to know better, but he went and did it anyway!somebody is old enough to be somebody’s mother/father (=used when you think that someone is much too old to be having a relationship with another person )Why would she want to go out with someone who was old enough to be her father?THESAURUSpersonold having lived for a long timean old manI’m too old to learn a new language. elderly a politeword for oldan elderly ladya home for the elderly (=elderly people)If you are elderly, you may be eligible for financial assistance.aging (also ageing British English) [only before noun] becoming oldan ageing rock starthe problems of an ageing populationaged /ˈeɪdʒəd/ [only before noun] writtenagedrelatives are very oldaged parentsShe had to look after her aged aunt.elder brother/sister especially British English [only before noun] an older brother or sister. Elder sounds more formal than olderI have two elder brothers.ancient [not usually before noun] informal very old – used humorouslyI’ll be 30 next year – it sounds really ancient!be getting on (in years) informal to be fairly oldHe’s 60 now, so he’s getting on a bit.be over the hill (also be past it British English) informal to be too old to do somethingEveryone thinks you’re past it when you get to 40. geriatric [only before noun]relating to medicalcare and treatment for old peoplea geriatric hospitalgeriatric patientsthingoldan old caran old Chinese sayingancient very old – used about things that existed thousands of years ago, or things that look very oldancient civilisationsan ancient Rolls Royceantiqueantiquefurniture, clocks, jewellery etc are old and often valuablean antique writing deskage-old used about traditions, problems, or situations that have existed for a very long timethe age-old tradition of morris dancing the age-old prejudice against women in positions of power the age-old problem of nationalismage-old hatreds between religious groups
Examples from the Corpus
old• She wanted to have a baby before she was too old.• We also converted naptime into reading time once the children were older.• a six-week-old baby• For the first time in my life, I feel old.• Sue was wearing jeans and an oldbluejacket.• It's one of the oldestbuildings in San Francisco.• a beat-upold car• The two older children had no legaladvice.• I was the youngest one in the family, so I had to wear my sisters' oldclothes.• She shouldn't marry him - he's much too old for her.• This was when the need to live together came not from the oldergeneration, but from the child's own family.• I saw Phil with one of my old girlfriends.• Sikes got out of jail in 1983, and was soon back to his oldhabits.• The Luna Baglioni is one of the oldesthotels in Venice.• How old is your cat?• Do you have any oldmagazines the kids can cut up?• An old man was in the parkfeeding the pigeons.• The Biblicalstory does more than turn the oldermyth on its head.• a lovelyoldoaktree• The new stadium is much bigger than the old one.• An olderpairtending their spawn.• My parents are giving us their oldsofa.• I have two brothers, both older than me.• Joan was nineteen years old when she died.• an old woman• His fewer statementslack that oldzing.as old as the hills• Mortgagescams were as old as the hills.• Slim looked old to me, as old as the hills.too old for• There would have been nothing unusual about this except that she was almost three, much too old for a crib.• These boys are also too old for day camp and too young for jobs.• He'd thought her a little too old for his own purposes, but always assumed she was there for the taking.• Besides, she's too old for it at forty-five.• This was becoming Stress City and I was too old for it.• She was a bittoo old forlickingbowls, wasn't she?• Muhammad was too old for the draft.• But he worries that at 72, Dole might be too old for the job.old flame• In a box in the closet, I found loveletters from one of his old flames.• A spot of work here and there, liberally interspersed with rendezvous with an old flame?• Hey, d' you hear about the fire-eater who couldn't go anywhere without meeting an old flame?• I met up with an old flame, and we sat and chatted for a while.• Mealticket Song Me and my old flame came wining-and-dining At this restaurant.• After 17 years of marriage, he left his wife for an old flame he ran into at a high school reunion.• It certainly relit an old flame of interest within me, and sent me off in two different directions at once.• Well he happens to be an old flame of Mummy's.• And his self-despite was so strong that he knew reviving an old flame or chasing some young actress would only aggravate it.the same old• Very comfortable, but the same old books on Manet, and of course, pictures of Olympia.• It's the same old questions when you walk in there.• All I have to wear are the same oldrags I've had for years.• What have I got to say to a man whose idea of manhood is the same oldsexistpatriarchy?• NetworkTV has nothing but the same old shows.• For the most part, it's the same old song.• Some of the same oldspectres are still present-such as the problem of preparedresources.• It was the same old story-profit over people.• You know... the same old thing.old friend• Lotte's one of my oldest friends.• By 11am 1,000 people were milling around ParliamentSquare, keeping off the grass, and greetingold friends.• He was dying and implored you to agree to the match because he and Horatia's father were such old friends.• She loved to meet new people and chat with old friends.• I saw a few old friends at the reunion.• They spoke to my old friend Henry Clerval, and he was very happy to travel with me.• One of my oldest friends in Boston is a woman whom, for now, I will call Ellen.• Today the manager of personnel makes a point of sitting next to his old friend on the dailycommuter train.• By 1917, the two old friends were no longer on speaking terms.• But it wasn't just the hope of seeing old friends which had drawn me back.