elder

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elder statesman

1. One who is experienced and successful in a particular area. Because Michael's the elder statesman in our department, everyone always goes to him with questions.
2. One who is no longer working in a particular job but is still considered a valuable resource. Even though he's been retired for a year, Joe is still the elder statesman that gives us all feedback on our manuscripts.
See also: elder, statesman

elders and betters

The people who are older than one and thus deserve respect. Because I'm supposed to respect my elders and betters, Mom was pretty mad when she heard that I'd sassed Grandma.
See also: and, better, elder
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

an ˌelder ˈstatesman


1 a person who has had an important job in government, business, etc. and who, though he/she may have retired (= stopped work), is still likely to be asked for his/her opinion and advice
2 any experienced and respected person whose advice or work is valued: He is regarded as TV’s elder statesman, having worked for the giant CBS network for nearly twenty years.
See also: elder, statesman

your ˌelders and ˈbetters

people who are older and wiser than you and whom you should respect: You may not want to go, but your elders and betters think you should.
See also: and, better, elder
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
"This pair are still in the summer of their years," observed the elder from Harvard, a shrewd old man.
"Nay, brother," said the elder from Canterbury, "the hoar-frost and the black-frost hath done its work on Brother Adam and Sister Martha, even as we sometimes discern its traces in our cornfields, while they are yet green.
"But our sister!" observed the elder from Harvard, "hath she not likewise a gift to declare her sentiments?"
Passepartout was now the only person left in the car, and the Elder, looking him full in the face, reminded him that, two years after the assassination of Joseph Smith, the inspired prophet, Brigham Young, his successor, left Nauvoo for the banks of the Great Salt Lake, where, in the midst of that fertile region, directly on the route of the emigrants who crossed Utah on their way to California, the new colony, thanks to the polygamy practised by the Mormons, had flourished beyond expectations.
"And this," added Elder William Hitch, "this is why the jealousy of Congress has been aroused against us!
"No!" replied Passepartout courageously, in his turn retiring from the car, and leaving the Elder to preach to vacancy.
And spring came, and summer; and then it was autumn, and then winter; and a thousand pictures were reflected in the eye and in the heart of the boy; and the little girl always sang to him, "This you will never forget." And during their whole flight the Elder Tree smelt so sweet and odorous; he remarked the roses and the fresh beeches, but the Elder Tree had a more wondrous fragrance, for its flowers hung on the breast of the little maiden; and there, too, did he often lay his head during the flight.
Yes, it was delightful; and the little maiden showed the boy everything; and the Elder Tree still was fragrant, and the red flag, with the white cross, was still waving: the flag under which the old seaman in the New Booths had sailed.
So there they both sat, like a king and a queen, under the fragrant tree, that looked exactly like an elder: the old man told his wife the story of "Old Nanny," as it had been told him when a boy.
But the elder leader was wise, very wise, in love even as in battle.
Bleeding and coughing, already stricken, he sprang at the elder and fought while life faded from him, his legs going weak beneath him, the light of day dulling on his eyes, his blows and springs falling shorter and shorter.
As I turned my eyes to the elder brother, I saw him looking down at this handsome boy whose life was ebbing out, as if he were a wounded bird, or hare, or rabbit; not at all as if he were a fellow-creature.
"`Is she dead?' asked the Marquis, whom I will still describe as the elder brother, coming booted into the room from his horse.
He at once proposed to divide his inheritance with his elder brother.
He was totally estranged from his mother and his elder brother.