elder

elder1
/el"deuhr/, adj. a compar. of old with eldest as superl.
1. of greater age; older.
2. of higher rank; senior: an elder officer.
3. of or pertaining to former times; earlier: Much that was forbidden by elder custom is accepted today.
n.
4. a person who is older or higher in rank than oneself.
5. an aged person.
6. an influential member of a tribe or community, often a chief or ruler; a superior.
7. a presbyter.
8. (in certain Protestant churches) a lay member who is a governing officer, often assisting the pastor in services.
9. Mormon Ch. a member of the Melchizedek priesthood.
[bef. 900; ME; OE eldra, comp. of eald OLD]
Syn. 1. See older.
Ant. 1. younger.
elder2
/el"deuhr/, n.
any tree or shrub belonging to the genus Sambucus, of the honeysuckle family, having pinnate leaves, clusters of white flowers, and red or black, berrylike fruit.
[bef. 900; ME eldre, elrene, ellerne, OE ellaern; c. MLG ellern]

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I
Any of about 20–30 species, mainly shrubs and small trees, that make up the genus Sambucus, in the honeysuckle family.

Most are native to forested temperate or subtropical areas. Elders are important as garden shrubs, as forest plants, and for their berries (elderberries), which provide food for wildlife and are used for wines, jellies, pies, and folk medicines. Elders have divided leaves and flat, roundish clusters of tiny, yellowish-white, saucer-shaped flowers. The American, or sweet, elder (S. canadensis) of North America is the most important species horticulturally.

European red elder (Sambucus racemosa).

A.J. Huxley
II
(as used in expressions)
Berain Jean the Elder
Bruegel Pieter the Elder
Brueghel Jan the Elder
Cato the Elder
Cranach Lucas the Elder
Dionysius the Elder
Elder John
Herrera Francisco the Elder
Isaac the Elder
Manutius Aldus the Elder
Cosimo the Elder
Pitt William the Elder
poison elder
Simeon the Elder
Velde Willem van de the Elder
principal elders

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      in Christianity, any of various church officers. In modern times the title of elder has been used notably in the Presbyterian (Reformed and Presbyterian churches) and Reformed churches (Reformed church) and in Mormonism.

      In the early Christian Church the term elder (Hebrew zaken, Greek presbyteros), though possibly influenced by the use of the title for secular magistrates in Asia Minor, was derived from the Israelites (Israelite), who shared it with other Semitic peoples. Moses appointed 70 elders as intermediaries between himself and the people (Num. 11:16). In the New Testament, elders are mentioned together with bishops (bishop) (episcopoi) as leaders of local churches; in some passages the two terms seem interchangeable. Later the word presbyteros came to mean “presbyter” (i.e., priest). It is thus difficult to decide on its exact significance in the early church. After the threefold ministry of bishop, priest, and deacon became fully adopted in the 2nd and following centuries, the office of elder lapsed in the Roman Catholic Church.

      During the Reformation in the 16th century the office of elder was revived by certain Protestant churches, notably the Reformed and Presbyterian. According to Presbyterian theory of church government, there are two classes of elders: the teaching elders, called ministers, ordained and especially set apart to the pastoral office, and the ruling elders, who are lay persons chosen generally by the congregation and ordained to assist the minister in the oversight and government of the church.

      Most Protestant churches employ the term “elder” with various meanings. Among Methodists (Methodism) it refers to a fully ordained minister. In its rare use in the Lutheran (Lutheranism) tradition, it is interchangeable with deacon in reference to lay persons chosen by a congregation to assist the pastor with official duties; they and the pastor form a board of elders with advisory powers.

      In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormonism (Mormon), an elder is a male member aged 20 or over. This church makes no distinctions between a layperson and a priest. At age 12, all worthy Mormon males become deacons; and before the age of 20 they become priests. At that age a man becomes an elder in the Melchizedek priesthood. In later life he may possibly rise to become a high priest, a member of the so-called seventy.

plant
also called  elderberry 

      any of about 10 species, mainly shrubs and small trees, constituting the genus Sambucus of the family Adoxaceae. Most are native to forested temperate or subtropical areas of both hemispheres. They are important as garden shrubs, as forest plants, and for their berries, which provide food for wildlife and are used for wines, jellies, pies, and medicines. An elder has divided leaves and flat, roundish clusters of tiny, yellowish white, saucer-shaped flowers that are followed by small red, blue-black, black, or yellow berries.

      The American, or sweet, elder (S. canadensis), of North America is the most important species horticulturally. It grows to 2.4 metres (8 feet) tall and produces large clusters of white flowers, succeeded by abundant clusters of fruit. This fruit, called elderberry, is sometimes collected from wild trees, but a number of cultivated varieties have been developed for home and commercial use. The berries may be mixed with grapes for jelly or combined with apples as a pie filling. In some areas, the juice is traditionally fermented into wine. The unopened flower buds are sometimes pickled as a substitute for capers. In folk medicine, the elderberry has been touted as a remedy for stomach upsets, as an eye lotion, as a salve for bruises, and as a diuretic.

 Other species of elders include the European, or black, elder (S. nigra; see photograph—>), which reaches 9 metres (29 feet), and the blue, or Mexican, elder (S. caerulea), which grows to 15 metres (48 feet). European red elder (S. racemosa), native from northern Europe to North China, has round clusters of scarlet berries and reaches 4 metres (13 feet). Red-berried elder (S. pubens), with dark pith, is a similar North American species. Danewort (S. ebulus), widespread in Europe and North Africa, is a perennial with annually herbaceous growth to 1 metre (3 feet). Its clusters of black berries were once a source of dye.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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