elder


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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

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

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
References in classic literature ?
But perceiving that the elders eyed her doubtfully, she gasped for breath, and again spoke.
The elders stood up around, and the Father feebly raised himself to a more erect position, but continued sitting in his great chair.
The aged Father sank back exhausted, and the surrounding elders deemed, with good reason, that the hour was come when the new heads of the village must enter on their patriarchal duties.
"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.
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.
"`Is she dead?' asked the Marquis, whom I will still describe as the elder brother, coming booted into the room from his horse.
He was smoother and more polite to me than the elder; but I saw this.
He at once proposed to divide his inheritance with his elder brother.
He was totally estranged from his mother and his elder brother.
There was an impressive pause among the young folks in their corner, for they all knew that Mac would "be mad," since he hated nonsense of this sort, and had gone to talk with the elders when the game began.
"What's the joke?" asked young Mac, waked out of a brown study by the laughter, in which the elders joined.