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Aged vs Old vs Elderly vs Superannuated

Aged, old, elderly and superannuated when applied to persons mean far advanced in years.

Aged implies extreme old age with signs of feebleness or, sometimes, senility.

  • the aged creature came, shuffling along with ivoryheaded wand

Old stresses the years of one's life, but in itself carries no connotations of marked decline.

  • a man, old, wrinkled, faded, withered

Elderly may imply no more than that the prime of life has been passed.

  • when you see me again I shall be an old man—that was a slip, I meant to say elderly
    —J. R.

Superannuated indicates that one has been retired or pensioned because of having reached a certain age.

  • varying in different callings
  • superannuated teachers
  • superannuated judges

Sometimes the word implies merely that one has passed the years of usefulness and with this denotation it is applied to things as well as to persons.