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Elder, adj. 1) == older, more advanced in age: “how can I then be e. than thou art?” Sonn. 22, 8. “how much more e. art thou than thy looks!” Merch. IV, 1, 251. H5 V, 2, 246. R3 III, 2, 62 (Ff older). Troil. I, 2, 88. Rom. I, 5, 40. Caes. II, 2, 47. IV, 3, 56. Lr. I, 1, 20. Ant. III, 10, 13. Cymb. III, 6, 45. Per. I, 2, 15. e. days == a more advanced age: R2 II, 3, 43. V, 3, 21. “some e. masters of known honour,” Hml. V, 2, 259. “to second ills with ills, each e. worse,” Cymb. V, 1, 14 (i. e. committed at a more advanced age).*
2) as it is now used, == born before another: Shr. I, 1, 51. I, 2, 268. John I, 57. H6B IV, 2, 150. H6C IV, 1, 118. “e. brother,” As I, 1, 56. IV, 3, 121. John II, 104. John II, 104 H6C III, 3, 102. R3 IV, 4, 503 (Qq his brother there). Tit. II, 1, 74. Tim. II, 2, 130. “e. sister,” Shr. I, 2, 263. Wint. I, 2, 98. “e. son,” H6B II, 2, 51.
Used substantively, a) a person older than another: “you are my e.” Err. V, 420. LLL V, 2, 609. “I know my duty to my --s,” Shr. II, 7. “let the woman take an e. than herself,” Tw. II, 4, 31.
b) aged person: “whether the withered e. hath not his poll clawed,” H4B II, 4, 281. “wrinkled --s,” Troil. II, 2, 104 (Ff old, M. Edd. eld). “our --s say,” Caes. I, 2, 7.
c) a senator: “our best --s,” Cor. I, 1, 230. “most reverend and grave --s,” II, 2, 46.
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