elder

/ˈɛldə/
noun
1 one’s elder – People who are older than one.
1.1 one’s elder A person who is older than one by a specified length of time.
2 often elders – A leader or senior figure in a tribe or other group.
2.1 An official in the early Christian Church, or of various Protestant Churches and sects.
2.2 historical A member of a senate or governing body.

Origin
Old English ieldra, eldra, of Germanic origin; related to German älter, also to eld and old.

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Bessey was actually the elder of the pair. She had faithfully been Ben’s companion since his birth. She occasionally, though reluctantly, deferred to his most foolish plans, but loved to go everywhere with him. She missed him when he was at school.

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Dogs make great companions. Cats do too, but not in the same way. Dogs earn “faithful” as an adjective while cats get “independent”. Our experience with both sorts seems to confirm that, although “needy” and “under foot” seem to apply when both want to be fed.

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