Definition of geriatric in US English:



  • attributive Relating to old people, especially with regard to their health care.

    ‘a geriatric hospital’
    • ‘The nurses at the geriatric hospital kindly shared his care with the family.’
    • ‘Using an organized approach to the varied aspects of geriatric health, primary care physicians can improve the care that they provide for their older patients.’
    • ‘She completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.’
    • ‘Indeed, many aspects of preventing and managing infection in nursing homes embrace good geriatric medicine.’
    • ‘An ongoing evaluation of effectiveness requires reassessment at regular intervals to rethink medication regimens in light of changes in the health status of geriatric patients.’
    • ‘How can standards in geriatric health care be raised?’
    • ‘Before this he had started as a clinical assistant in the geriatric department at Paignton Hospital.’
    • ‘Some were community dwelling ambulatory patients attending a health clinic and others were inpatients on a geriatric ward.’
    • ‘The rapidly expanding group of older nephrology patients is a positive reflection of recent developments in medical care and offers an opportunity to establish links between nephrology and geriatric medicine.’
    • ‘Annual in-home geriatric assessment with quarterly visits by geriatric nurses also delays disability in persons without impairment.’
    • ‘He is attending physician in internal medicine and geriatric medicine at St. Luke's Hospital.’
    • ‘Health maintenance of geriatric patients is an integral part of daily medical practice for most family physicians.’
    • ‘Primary care physicians must be diligent in assessing the immunization status of geriatric patients and providing the recommended vaccines.’
    • ‘Compared with these school environments, the indoor climates at our geriatric hospitals were characterized by higher room temperatures and lower relative humidity.’
    • ‘The 14 geriatric hospitals included 18 buildings that housed 36 nursing departments.’
    • ‘Several factors, such as the input of geriatricians and good communication between members of the multidisciplinary geriatric team, led to better use of medicines.’
    • ‘Potential members of the study were identified at 22 community-based health care centers with geriatric long-stay facilities.’
    • ‘Max's main studies related to the organisation of primary health services and geriatric healthcare delivery in Israel and he was committed to medical education.’
    • ‘Governments cannot pay for all feasible geriatric health care.’
    • ‘We compared the quality of the current rehabilitation scheme in local hospitals with intensive rehabilitation in a geriatric hospital ward.’


  • An old person, especially one receiving special care.

    ‘a rest home for geriatrics’
    • ‘Her lustre is all the greater because, at 34, she counts almost as a geriatric and carries enough injuries to condemn a horse to the knacker's yard.’
    • ‘They have the opportunity to work with multiple age groups from neonates to geriatrics.’
    • ‘He joined the faculty as a young geriatric, his first position being upright.’
    • ‘The rangers need not fear that they are signing a vulnerable geriatric.’
    • ‘In fact, the brand of baseball produced by the pair of pre-season leagues is so dull that it impresses only the geriatrics in the stands.’
    • ‘If it were an episode of the TV show, we would be calling him ‘Monty Burns’, the wealthy geriatric who runs a nuclear power plant.’
    • ‘But maybe the incessant weeping is legitimate; the way these whippersnappers treat their elders these days would bring any geriatric to tears.’
    • ‘By the standards of both Cook's crew and our modern-day colleagues, we were geriatrics.’
    • ‘Stuffing myself with food and wine, I wondered how long I would last in this room full of geriatrics before I got bored and excused myself.’
    • ‘Let the people vote in who they want to even if he is a senile geriatric with one foot already in the grave.’
    • ‘Most of the residents here are geriatrics with senile dementia.’
    • ‘The crowd was the usual mix of beautiful people in the corporate boxes and geriatrics and children in the cheap seats.’
    • ‘At 29, he isn't exactly young by modern standards of professional sport; on the other hand golf is not regarded as a sport for sprightly geriatrics for nothing.’
    • ‘The fuzz gun rattled in the absent grasp of his failing fingers like a collecting tin in the hands of an arthritic geriatric.’
    • ‘Though I am no geriatric yet, I can confidently croon the song, ‘Those were the best days of my life!’’
    • ‘In both hospitals, the next most often targeted patient types were geriatrics, oncology, and renal patients.’
    • ‘I am rapidly turning into an TV-loving geriatric.’
    • ‘Quinn rode his first winner in 1981 and at 42 - hardly a geriatric in the flat racing game - he retains a hunger for winners that would shame a man half his age.’
    • ‘I've still got a long time left in me and I can play until I'm a geriatric.’
    • ‘Even the geriatrics played well for the day getting 30 or more points.’
    retired person, pensioner, old-age pensioner, oap
    View synonyms


Geriatric is the normal, semiofficial term used in the US and Britain when referring to the health care of old people (a geriatric ward; geriatric patients). When used outside such contexts, however, it typically carries overtones of being worn out and decrepit and can therefore be offensive


1920s: from Greek gēras ‘old age’ + iatros ‘doctor’, on the pattern of paediatric.