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eld·er 1

1. Greater than another in age or seniority.
2. Archaic Superior to another or others, as in rank.
1. An older person.
2. An older, influential member of a family, tribe, or community.
3. One of the governing officers of a church, often having pastoral or teaching functions.
4. Mormon Church A member of the higher order of priesthood.

[Middle English eldre, from Old English eldra; see al- in Indo-European roots.]

el′der·ship′ n.
Usage Note: In comparisons between two persons, the adjective elder is simply a more formal term for "older" and has no implication of advanced age: My elder sibling is fourteen; my younger is nine. In other contexts it does denote relatively old age, but with the added component of respect for a person's position or achievement: an elder statesman; an elder member of the court. If the simple fact of advanced or relatively advanced age is the point, older or elderly are usually more appropriate than elder: a survey of older Americans; an elderly waiter. · As with the adjective, the noun elder can be used comparatively without implying old age: He is my elder by three years. It can also refer to an office in certain churches or, more broadly, to a position of authority or respect conferred by age and experience: an elder in the Presbyterian Church; a tribal elder. The use of elder in the sense of "an elderly person" is uncommon in contemporary English, though it is widely used as an attributive in such phrases as elder care (or eldercare) and elder services. See Usage Note at old.

el·der 2

[Middle English eldre, from Old English ellærn.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.eldership - the office of elder
berth, billet, post, situation, position, office, place, spot - a job in an organization; "he occupied a post in the treasury"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"We felt our absence was necessary to begin restoring faith to our church in the biblical office of eldership," they wrote.
Jeremiah Johnson, the founder, and director of Maranatha School Of Ministry is highly known for his prophetic teaching and his contribution as a member of the eldership team at Heart of the Father Ministry in Lakeland Florida.
"So I have decided - after 30 years as an elder and a lifetime as a member of the Presbyterian Church - to resign from the eldership and membership." Former Presbyterian moderator Reverend Stafford Carson helped to formulate the church's policy on same-sex marriage.
Noor Khan Durani, senior vice president of ANP local chapter, said though the party eldership had instructed the workers to not join the meeting, a large number of activists had, however, decided to participate in the gathering.
These stages represent ever increasing levels and degrees of responsibility, participation and maturity; moving from Birth through Childhood, Adulthood and Eldership. Movement from one stage to the next is a "transition".
(6) For although institutions of chieftaincy came under pressure--to the extent that men avoided nomination for office because of the dangers it brought--the ethical ideals of eldership were paradoxically even more valued during a time of discord.
Collectively, these traditional responsibilities play important roles in emphasizing a healthy people, beginning at conception into adulthood and continuing through eldership."
We tweak worship music, preach without a tie or collar, institute term eldership, even alter national committee structures, and though all those can be worthwhile, we continue to be essentially a Christendom-shaped church in attitude, approach, structure and practice.
Eldership and the Mission of God: Equipping Teams for Faithful Church Leadership comes from two church leaders who provide a portrait of elders as community leaders, discussing how churches can benefit from elder teams that attend to church and community alike.
In RO the tradition of obedience follows these ancient monastic ideas and practices of eldership and subordination, but in some modified and romanticized forms.