Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English olden, equivalent to old +‎ -en. Compare Old English ealdum, inflected form of eald (old).


olden (not comparable)

  1. From or relating to a previous era.
    olden days, olden times
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 156:
      "You are right to some extent in what you say. In the olden days people had a stronger belief in all kinds of witchery; now they pretend not to believe in it, that they may be looked upon as sensible and educated people, as you say."
    • 1934, Cole Porter (lyrics and music), “Anything Goes”:
      In olden days, a glimpse of stockings / Was looked on as something shocking; / Now, heaven knows, / Anything goes.
  2. (archaic) Old; ancient.
    • 1857, Browne, Martha Griffith, Autobiography of a Female Slave:
      We [] told over the story of past sufferings, and renewed olden vows of devotion.

Usage notesEdit

Now mostly restricted to certain set phrases, such as "olden days" and "olden times".


Etymology 2Edit

From old +‎ -en.


olden (third-person singular simple present oldens, present participle oldening, simple past and past participle oldened)

  1. (intransitive, old-fashioned or rare) To grow old; age; assume an older appearance or character; become affected by age.
    • 1912, Ayscough, John, Saints and Places, page 123:
      They were not worldly days; and so, as we olden with our passage through the world, they stay young, and we love them as pure youthful things are loved.
Related termsEdit


Norwegian BokmålEdit


olden m (definite singular oldenen, indefinite plural oldener, definite plural oldenene)

  1. (archaic) mast (tree fruit, nut)