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, superordinate

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

Holley was one of the most junior in a group that included Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, and Robert Kardashian. Jessica Chou, Glamour, "Shawn Holley Will Free You Now," 11 Dec. 2018 The Wisconsin junior power forward, who withdrew from the NBA draft, suffered the busted lip going through drills and scrimmaging with other prospects shortly before the May 30 deadline for underclassmen to return to college. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' VR exploration a game-changer for prospects," 9 June 2018 Evans, a wing who left UC after his junior year, was the Warriors' No. 1 pick (28th overall) in the NBA draft. Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bearcats: Caupain leading former UC players in NBA Summer League," 10 July 2018 Fans say his tough line, honed as foreign minister during the 2015-16 refugee crisis, blunts the appeal of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), the junior coalition partner to his centre-right People’s Party. The Economist, "Europe is moving towards the tough immigration policies of Sebastian Kurz," 5 July 2018 Hall, a first baseman, was a 14th-round pick in 2016 after hitting 20 home runs during his junior year at Dallas Baptist. Bob Brookover, Philly.com, "Darick Hall and Austin Listi blasting homers at Reading," 4 July 2018 Vick had initially declared for the 2018 NBA Draft — after averaging 12.1 points per game his junior year at KU — but did not sign with an agent. Gary Bedore, kansascity, "Vick to return to KU for senior season: 'The minutes will work themselves out'," 29 June 2018 Wilcox didn't even step on the football field until his junior year. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blake Wilcox picked up football last year, can connect from 60 yards and has an offer from Wisconsin," 26 June 2018 Alexandra went into her junior year with extraordinarily high goals. Mark Arsenault, BostonGlobe.com, "Secrets of a Lost Girl," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And for Yao, 20, a junior at Harvard and part of the Harvard Ballet Company, the process was one of sartorial self-discovery, but also one that proved inspirational. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Inside Le Bal, the World’s Most Exclusive Debutante Ball," 28 Nov. 2018 Elizabeth Boone, a junior at the university, told The Daily Texan. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Counterprotesters Confronted Young Conservatives at a Pro-Kavanaugh Campus Rally," 3 Oct. 2018 Spencer, a junior at Kansas and Shawnee Mission East graduate, won the competition on his home course at Milburn Country Club in 2017, becoming just the second amateur to win since the tournament’s inauguration in 2007. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "Tom Watson finishes one stroke back to KU golfer in Watson Challenge," 10 June 2018 Field Athlete of the Year: Alysah Hickey, Coronado Hickey, a junior, ended a three-year gold medal drought for the section, winning the state long jump at 19-93/4 and grabbing the fourth-place medal in the high jump at 5-8. sandiegouniontribune.com, "All-San Diego Section teams for spring high school sports," 9 June 2018 Brian Doyon thanked Kyle Englander, a junior at Suffield High, for coming up with the race idea. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Road Race Honors Fallen Sailor," 6 June 2018 The Detroit Tigers selected right-handed pitcher Casey Mize, a junior from Auburn, with the first overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft on Monday. Scott Boeck, USA TODAY, "Tigers select RHP Casey Mize with No. 1 pick in MLB draft; Joey Bart to Giants," 4 June 2018 Ashley Schultz, a junior who’s committed to Northwestern, finished with three hits and three RBIs. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Saying yes to a no-no: Emily Schultz’s first career no-hitter helps Oswego East shut down Downers North," 1 June 2018 Grenier, a junior from Henderson, Nevada, follows Oregon State's Logan Ice (2016) and Nick Madrigal (2017) in winning the defensive award. Joel Odom, OregonLive.com, "Luke Heimlich, Cadyn Grenier lead Oregon State baseball's bevy of Pac-12 honors," 31 May 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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Statistics for junior

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

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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

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