Tuesday - February 20, 2024

In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [elder]

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EL'DER, n. A species of duck.

Evolution (or devolution) of this word [elder]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

EL'DER, n. A species of duck.

ELD'ER, a. [Sax. ealdor, the comparative degree of eld, now written old. See Old.]

  1. Older; senior; having lived a longer time; born, produced, or formed before something else; opposed to younger. The elder shall serve the younger. Gen. xxv. His elder son was in the field. Luke xv.
  2. Prior in origin; preceding in the date of a commission; as, an elder officer or magistrate. In this sense, we generally use senior.

ELD'ER, n.

  1. One who is older than another or others.
  2. An ancestor. Carry your head as your elders have done before you. L'Estrange.
  3. A person advanced in life, and who, on account of his age, experience, and wisdom, is selected for office. Among rude nations, elderly men are rulers, judges, magistrates, or counselors. Among the Jews, the seventy men associated with Moses in the government of the people, were elders. In the first Christian churches, elders were persons who enjoyed offices or ecclesiastical functions, and the word includes apostles, pastors, teachers, presbyters, bishops, or overseers. Peter and John called themselves elders. The first councils of Christians were called presbyteria, councils of elders. In the modern presbyterian churches, elders are officers who, with the pastors or ministers and deacons, compose the consistories or kirk-sessions, with authority to inspect and regulate matters of religion and discipline. In the first churches of New England, the pastors or ministers were called elders or teaching elders.

ELD'ER, n. [Sax. ellarn; Sw. hyll, or hylleträ; Dan. hyld, or hylde-træ; G. holder, or hohlunder. It seems to be named from hollowness.]

The popular name of a genus of plants called by naturalist Sambucus.

  1. Older; more aged, or existing longer.

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

  2. One who is older; a superior in age; a senior.

    1 Tim. v. 1.
  3. A genus of shrubs (Sambucus) having broad umbels of white flowers, and small black or red berries.

    * 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).

  4. 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. 23.

    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.

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

    Carry your head as your elders have done. L'Estrange.

  6. 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.

    * 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.

  7. 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.

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EL'DER, noun A species of duck.

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Word of the Day



1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word


LOIT'ERER, n. A lingerer; one that delays or is slow in motion; an idler; one that is sluggish or dilatory.

Ever listless loiterers, that attend no cause, no trust, no duty and no friend.

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