From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Elder \Eld"er\, a. [AS. yldra, compar. of eald old. See Old.]
   1. Older; more aged, or existing longer.
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            Let the elder men among us emulate their own earlier
            deeds.                                --Jowett
                                                  (Thucyd. )
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   2. Born before another; prior in years; senior; earlier;
      older; as, his elder brother died in infancy; -- opposed
      to younger, and now commonly applied to a son, daughter,
      child, brother, etc.
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            The elder shall serve the younger.    --Gen. xxv.
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            But ask of elder days, earth's vernal hour. --Keble.
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   Elder hand (Card Playing), the hand playing, or having the
      right to play, first. --Hoyle.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Elder \El"der\, n. [OE. ellern, eller, AS. ellen, cf. LG.
   elloorn; perh. akin to OHG. holantar, holuntar, G. holunder;
   or perh. to E. alder, n.] (Bot.)
   A genus of shrubs (Sambucus) having broad umbels of white
   flowers, and small black or red berries.
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   Note: The common North American species is {Sambucus
         Canadensis}; the common European species (S. nigra)
         forms a small tree. The red-berried elder is {S.
         pubens}. The berries are diaphoretic and aperient. The
         European elder (Sambucus nigra) is also called the
         elderberry, bourtree, Old World elder, {black
         elder}, and common elder.
         [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5]

   Box elder. See under 1st Box.

   Dwarf elder. See Danewort.

   Elder tree. (Bot.) Same as Elder. --Shak.

   Marsh elder, the cranberry tree Viburnum Opulus).
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Elder \Eld"er\, n. [AS. ealdor an elder, prince, fr. eald old.
   See Old, and cf. Elder, a., Alderman.]
   1. One who is older; a superior in age; a senior. --1 Tim. v.
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   2. An aged person; one who lived at an earlier period; a
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            Carry your head as your elders have done.
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   3. A person who, on account of his age, occupies the office
      of ruler or judge; hence, a person occupying any office
      appropriate to such as have the experience and dignity
      which age confers; as, the elders of Israel; the elders of
      the synagogue; the elders in the apostolic church.
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   Note: In the modern Presbyterian churches, elders are lay
         officers who, with the minister, compose the church
         session, with authority to inspect and regulate matters
         of religion and discipline. In some churches, pastors
         or clergymen are called elders, or presbyters.
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   4. (M. E. Ch.) A clergyman authorized to administer all the
      sacraments; as, a traveling elder.
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   Presiding elder (Meth. Ch.), an elder commissioned by a
      bishop to have the oversight of the churches and preachers
      in a certain district.

   Ruling elder, a lay presbyter or member of a Presbyterian
      church session. --Schaff.
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