Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun se·nior \ˈsē-nyər\

Simple Definition of senior

  • : a person who is older than another person

  • : a person who is of a higher rank than another person

  • : a student in the final year of high school or college

Full Definition of senior

  1. 1 :  a person older than another <five years my senior>

  2. 2a :  a person with higher standing or rankb :  a senior fellow of a college at an English universityc :  a student in the year preceding graduation from a school of secondary or higher level

  3. 3 capitalized :  a member of a program of the Girl Scouts for girls in the 9th through 12th grades in school

  4. 4 :  senior citizen

Examples of senior

  1. As his senior, she commanded quite a bit of respect.

  2. She was his senior in rank.

  3. high school juniors and seniors

Origin of senior

Middle English, from Latin, from senior, adjective

First Known Use: 14th century



adjective se·nior

Simple Definition of senior

  • : older in age

  • : higher in standing or rank than another person in the same position

  • : of, relating to, or designed for older people

Full Definition of senior

  1. 1 :  of prior birth, establishment, or enrollment —often used to distinguish a father with the same given name as his son

  2. 2 :  higher ranking :  superior <senior officers>

  3. 3 :  of, relating to, or intended for seniors <a senior center>

  4. 4 :  having a claim on corporate assets and income prior to other securities

Examples of senior

  1. the senior vice president of marketing

  2. She is a senior aide to the president.

  3. a senior editor for the magazine

  4. He recently became a senior partner in the accounting firm.

  5. the men's senior baseball league

Origin of senior

Middle English, from Latin, older, elder, comparative of sen-, senex old; akin to Gothic sineigs old, Greek henos

First Known Use: 14th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up senior? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 16.96 pounds 100 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.