ju·nior | \ˈjün-yər \

Definition of junior 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : less advanced in age : younger used chiefly to distinguish a son with the same given name as his father

b(1) : youthful

(2) : designed for young people and especially adolescents

c : of more recent date and therefore inferior or subordinate a junior lien

2 : of or relating to juniors or the class of juniors at an educational institution the junior prom

3a : lower in standing or rank junior partners

b : duplicating or suggesting on a smaller scale something typically large or powerful a junior gale



Definition of junior (Entry 2 of 2)

1a(1) : a person who is younger than another a man six years my junior

(2) : a male child : son

(3) : a young person

b : a clothing size for women and girls with slight figures

2a : a student in the next-to-the-last year before graduating from an educational institution

b : a person holding a lower position in a hierarchy of ranks

3 capitalized : a member of a program of the Girl Scouts for girls in the third through sixth grades in school

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Synonyms & Antonyms for junior

Synonyms: Adjective

inferior, less, lesser, lower, minor, smaller, subordinate

Synonyms: Noun

inferior, subordinate, underling

Antonyms: Adjective

greater, higher, major, more, primary, prime, senior, superior

Antonyms: Noun

senior, superior

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Examples of junior in a Sentence


She is a junior partner in the law firm. junior advisers to the governor


They are my juniors in rank. She's a junior at the state college.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

My daughter Maggie is going to be a junior in high school, and my son Sam is just going to start high school. Myrna Petlicki, chicagotribune.com, "Shout Out: Patrick Blashill, Park Ridge actor performing in 'The Harvest'," 9 July 2018 As a junior, he was named the American Athletic Conference’s most improved player. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando Magic sign rookie draft pick Melvin Frazier Jr.," 6 July 2018 In the junior welterweight round, Omar Bordoy Jr. (6-0) of Danbury knocked out Hartford’s Alexander Picot (2-6-1) in the sixth round. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Hartford's Richard Rivera Wins ABF Continental Americas Cruiserweight Belt At Fight Night At The Capital," 17 June 2018 Senior Kevin Eaise led off the top of the seventh with a single and junior Joe Bonczek reached on a walk. Phil Anastasia, Philly.com, "Kenny Levari powers St. Augustine past Bishop Eustace in playoff game," 1 June 2018 Amber Mak's Chicago Shakespeare directing debut uses imaginative staging, set design, and choreography to bring the book to life, inspiring wide-eyed awe from most junior audience members. Marissa Oberlander, Chicago Reader, "Chicago Shakespeare’s Peter Pan is a soaring delight for both kids and adults," 11 July 2018 Collingswood junior lefthander Alex Margot, a Kentucky recruit, pitched three scoreless innings. Marc Narducci, Philly.com, "Olympic-Colonial wins sixth Carpenter Cup," 24 June 2018 The Wolverines have a 1-2 punch in senior Karan Higdon and junior Chris Evans, but are searching for options further down the depth chart. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football: Braylon Edwards' bro, Berkley, reportedly walks on," 21 June 2018 This recent year, sophomore Ricardo Sanchez took first place in boys singles and junior Blake Enstrom and senior Jennifer Gladias placed second in mixed doubles at the District 20-5A Tournament, April 9-11 at Tomball. Alvaro Montaño, Houston Chronicle, "Tomball Memorial’s Elizabeth Alfaro set to lead tennis program," 15 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Apple Rockefeller and Caroline Callender, juniors at Brearley, and the oldest of the party’s hosts, were anxious to get started on their homework. Bob Morris, The New Yorker, "The Coloring Book Enters Its Baroque Phase," 11 June 2018 Maye was a third-team Associated Press All-American last season as a junior. BostonGlobe.com, "French Open draw is announced," 25 May 2018 Hilinski threw for 3,749 yards and 33 touchdowns last year as a junior at Orange Lutheran in Orange, California. Bill Landis, cleveland.com, "Ohio State offers another committed 2019 QB; 5-star LB ready to pick a school: Buckeyes recruiting," 14 May 2018 It is geared for high school juniors and seniors and their parents. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 13 July 2018 The classes predominantly will be for high school juniors and seniors interest in pursuing technical careers. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "West Aurora OKs nearly $3.9 million bid for construction of career development center," 11 July 2018 Weinberg is a high school junior in Lexington, Mass. Emily Weinberg, latimes.com, "A new generation's revolution: A teen reviews '#NeverAgain' book by Parkland survivors David and Lauren Hogg," 4 July 2018 The participants ranged in age from third graders to juniors in high school. Mike May, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Wellington Wolves welcome teams to its youth basketball extravaganza," 22 Apr. 2018 But this is also true: Oregon is garbage without Herbert and a potential top-25 team with the junior in the lineup. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 best quarterbacks in college football," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'junior.' 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 junior


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for junior


Middle English, from Latin, comparative of juvenis young — more at young


Latin, noun & adjective

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Phrases Related to junior

junior school

Statistics for junior

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for junior

The first known use of junior was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for junior



English Language Learners Definition of junior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: younger in age

: lower in standing or rank

: designed for or done by young people



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

: a person who is younger than another person

: a person who is of a lower rank than another person

: a student in the third of four years in a high school or college


ju·nior | \ˈjün-yər \

Kids Definition of junior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being younger used to distinguish a son from a father with the same name John Doe, Junior

2 : lower in rank a junior associate

3 : of or relating to students in the next-to-last year at a high school, college, or university the junior class



Kids Definition of junior (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person who is younger or lower in rank than another He is two years my junior.

2 : a student in the next-to-last year at a high school, college, or university


ju·nior | \ˈjü-nyər \

Legal Definition of junior 

: of lower standing or rank a junior lienholder

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More from Merriam-Webster on junior

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for junior

Spanish Central: Translation of junior

Nglish: Translation of junior for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of junior for Arabic Speakers

Comments on junior

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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