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see honeysucklehoneysuckle,
common name for some members of the Caprifoliaceae, a family comprised mostly of vines and shrubs of the Northern Hemisphere, especially abundant in E Asia and E North America.
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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In Wicca traditions that utilize the degree system of advancement, an Elder is a Third Degree Witch who is consulted on matters of importance to the coven, such as policy and interpretation of Craft law. In other traditions, it is any Witch who has been in the coven for a number of years and is respected and looked to for such advice. There is often a number of elders in a coven that has been in existence for a number of years.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Sambucus), a genus of plants of the honeysuckle family. They are shrubs or small trees; more rarely, perennial grasses. There are about 40 species in the temperate and subtropical regions of both hemispheres.

There are 11 species in the USSR, three of which are widely distributed. The black elder (S. nigra) is a tall shrub or small tree with creamy white tiny flowers in flat umbelliferous panicles and violet black fruits (berry-like stones). They are found in the underbrush of the European part of the USSR (including the Crimea) and in the Caucasus. The flowers and fruits of the black elder are good for coloring wines and for giving them a muscat taste. They are raised as decorative plants.

Cystiform, red or common elder (S. racemosa) is a strongly branched shrub or small tree. Its whitish or greenish yellow flowers are arranged in flat oval or conic inflorescences. The fruit is bright red. Wild red elders are found in the underbrush of coniferous and mixed forests in the western Ukraine; red elder that has gone wild is found in the Baltic region and in certain oblasts of the central belt of the European part of the USSR, as well as in Ciscaucasia. These elder are raised as decorative plants. Grass elder (S. ebulus) is a perennial grassy plant, 0.5 to 1.5 cm tall, with an unpleasant smell. In the belt of broad-leaf forests, in the forest-steppe, and in the mountains, the grass is found to the central belt. It is also found everywhere in the Ukraine and in certain oblasts of the central belt of Russia, as well as in the Caucasus. In Central Asia it is found in the mountains of Kopetdag. Infusions of black elder and grass elder are used as sudorifics, diuretics, and astringents. They can also be used as a gargle and poultice.


Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. (in piquet and similar card games) denoting or relating to the nondealer (the elder hand), who has certain advantages in the play
2. Anthropol a senior member of a tribe who has influence or authority
3. (in certain Protestant Churches) a lay office having teaching, pastoral, or administrative functions
4. another word for presbyter


1. any of various caprifoliaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Sambucus, having clusters of small white flowers and red, purple, or black berry-like fruits
2. any of various unrelated plants, such as box elder and marsh elder


Mark Philip. born 1947, British conductor; musical director of the English National Opera (1979--93) and of the Hall? Orchestra from 2000
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
So there they both sat, like a king and a queen, under the fragrant tree, that looked exactly like an elder: the old man told his wife the story of "Old Nanny," as it had been told him when a boy.
The tea-pot was standing on the table, but no Elder Tree was growing out of it!
"`At last she is dead?' said the elder, when I went in.
I connected the title by which the boy had addressed the elder brother, with the initial letter embroidered on the scarf, and had no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that I had seen that nobleman very lately.
The young lady herself (as I have heard from the elder Mr.
There are cousins alive; a son and two daughters of that elder sister of Mr.
946 or the proposed Elder Victim Assistance Act, Poe said the measure is aimed at preventing/stopping elderly abuse.
Many people are still playing "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" after all this time.
ISLAMABAD -- Like other parts of the globe,World Elder Abuse Awareness Day will be observed on June15 (Saturday) in the country to combat the problem of elder abuse.
ISLAMABAD: Like other parts of the globe,World Elder Abuse Awareness Day will be observed on June15 (Saturday) in the country to combat the problem of elder abuse.
Jeffrey Elder's trek to the corner office of City Hall as mayor.