se·​nior | \ ˈsē-nyər \

Definition of senior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person older than another five years my senior
2a : a person with higher standing or rank
b : a senior fellow of a college at an English university
c : a student in the year preceding graduation from a school of secondary or higher level
3 capitalized : a member of a program of the Girl Scouts for girls in the 9th through 12th grades in school



Definition of senior (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of prior birth, establishment, or enrollment often used to distinguish a father with the same given name as his son
2 : higher ranking : superior senior officers
3 : of, relating to, or intended for seniors a senior center
4 : having a claim on corporate assets and income prior to other securities

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Synonyms & Antonyms for senior

Synonyms: Noun


Synonyms: Adjective

aged, aging (or ageing), ancient, elderly, geriatric, long-lived, old, older, over-the-hill, senescent, unyoung

Antonyms: Noun


Antonyms: Adjective

young, youthful

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Examples of senior in a Sentence


As his senior, she commanded quite a bit of respect. She was his senior in rank. high school juniors and seniors


the senior vice president of marketing She is a senior aide to the president. a senior editor for the magazine He recently became a senior partner in the accounting firm. the men's senior baseball league
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The TourX was also a marketing exercise, a way to fight its stigma as a company that only makes long, soft sedans for seniors. Kyle Stock, The Seattle Times, "Richer Americans are skipping SUVs for station wagons," 7 Jan. 2019 In Houlton, Maine, the farm cooperative Friends of Aroostook harvests food and provides firewood for seniors in the rural area. Clare Ansberry, WSJ, "For Elderly in Rural Areas, Volunteers Step In," 10 Dec. 2018 Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 W. Peoria Ave.$38 for adults, $33 for seniors, $16 for students and youth. 623-815-7930, Sonja Haller, azcentral, "Best kids things to do in Phoenix in July: Splash pad parties, shark feeds and free fun," 28 June 2018 Opponents of Harris' bill included national corporations that own gas stations as well as AARP, a consumer group for seniors. Julia O'donoghue,, "John Bel Edwards vetoes bill meant to help businesses like House GOP chairman's," 5 June 2018 Humphrey, 64, was released from jail May 9, without having to post bail, after agreeing to ankle monitoring and 24-hour home detention at a San Francisco drug and alcohol treatment program for seniors. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, "State Supreme Court to review landmark case on money bail system," 23 May 2018 This has created an opening for luxury urban living for seniors. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The changing face of retirement: Apartment living, active lifestyles, and rural homes," 22 May 2018 Durkan said, delivering remarks at a Northgate building that caters to low-income seniors. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle will spend $75M on affordable housing over the next year," 18 Dec. 2018 Having been through the college admissions process a year ago, my heart goes out to any high school seniors that are currently freaking out about their applications. Fresh U, Teen Vogue, "7 Things You Should Actually Do When Applying to Colleges," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Celeste Katz is senior politics reporter for Glamour. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "These Women Are Still Waiting for Their Paycheck Because of the Government Shutdown," 11 Jan. 2019 Thanks to this week's host Mark Ellwood, along with Traveler's Meredith Carey and Katherine LaGrave, and our senior aviation expert Barbara Peterson. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Year in Travel 2018: Travelogue Podcast," 28 Dec. 2018 Traditionally, analyses of fossil hominin material—especially fossils that have the potential to be new species—are undertaken by senior scientists, and there can be considerable lag between the discovery of material and the formal publication. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 According to Edgard Ortega, a senior producer on the project, Funomena had to think about the best way to tell. Nick Statt, The Verge, "VR storybook game Luna is even more mesmerizing on Magic Leap’s headset," 18 Dec. 2018 Some senior royals may attend, but not all of them. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Another Royal Wedding Is Taking Place Where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Got Married," 21 Dec. 2018 Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Technologies, said. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx for PCs aims to overcome the performance gap," 6 Dec. 2018 Celeste Katz is the senior politics reporter at Glamour. Eslah Attar, Glamour, "Rashida Tlaib Is Determined to Change Congress," 13 Dec. 2018 Several employees, including senior staff, have resigned over the project. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Everything you need to know about Google’s controversial China plans in advance of today’s congressional hearing," 11 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'senior.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of senior


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for senior


Middle English, from Latin, from senior, adjective


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

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Statistics for senior

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for senior

The first known use of senior was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for senior



English Language Learners Definition of senior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of senior (Entry 2 of 2)

: older in age

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

: of, relating to, or designed for older people


se·​nior | \ ˈsēn-yər \

Kids Definition of senior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person older or higher in rank than someone else
2 : a student in the final year of high school or college
3 : an elderly person



Kids Definition of senior (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being older
Hint: This sense is often used to distinguish a father from a son with the same name.
  • John Doe, Senior
2 : higher in rank or office Who is the senior partner of the law firm?
3 : relating to students in the final year of high school or college


se·​nior | \ ˈsē-nyər\

Legal Definition of senior

: having higher rank or priority a senior lienholder specifically : having a claim on corporate assets and income prior to other securities

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More from Merriam-Webster on senior

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for senior

Spanish Central: Translation of senior

Nglish: Translation of senior for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of senior for Arabic Speakers

Comments on senior

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


to gather or build up little by little

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