ju·​nior | \ ˈjün-yər How to pronounce junior (audio) \

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

More specifically, the NFL requires that players be three years removed from high school, which usually means the player has finished his junior year or redshirt sophomore year of college. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Coco Gauff and the Legality of the Teenager Professional Athlete," 3 July 2019 His school plan worked, and McGinnis moved to Yale University for his junior year. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "This former playwright aims to turn solar and wind power into gasoline," 3 July 2019 Nina Payne, who graduated from Phelps ACE High School, spent about a week with a host family in Peru her junior year. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "‘I wasn’t just thinking about myself’: How D.C.’s Class of 2019 decided what’s next.," 23 June 2019 Hailey Williams, a sprinter who just finished her junior year at Delta Junction, and Lydia Jacoby, a swimmer who just finished her freshman year at Seward High, recorded state-best times in competitions last weekend in the Lower 48. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska teens set state bests in track and swimming," 21 June 2019 The student transferred from La Vernia before his junior year. Liz Teitz, ExpressNews.com, "Quartet of former La Vernia students indicted two years after hazing scandal," 18 June 2019 During Prom’s junior year, Matsukawa agreed to help her prepare for a broadcast contest. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Lori Matsukawa stepping down after 36 years at KING 5," 14 June 2019 Maines had just finished up her junior year at the University of Maine when the socially conscious CW drama cast her as Nia Nal, a.k.a. Chancellor Agard, EW.com, "Supergirl star Nicole Maines reflects on her first year as Dreamer," 14 June 2019 Joiner was part of the team that defeated Ohio State for the BCS national championship in 2007, his junior year. Fox News, "Ex-Florida player charged with murder in wife's 2016 death," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bell, a 6-foot, 200-pound junior who graduated from Bonita Vista High, transferred from Nebraska. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs officially add two San Diegans among several football transfers," 11 July 2019 Tua Tagovailoa and two other Crimson Tide juniors — wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and linebacker Dylan Moses — will be Alabama’s three player representatives at SEC Media Days next week, it was announced Wednesday. Matt Zenitz | Mzenitz@al.com, al.com, "Tua Tagovailoa, 2 other stars to represent Alabama at SEC Media Days," 10 July 2019 Pusch Ridge will unleash one of the more electrifying players in the state in junior Evan Lovett. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Games to see during 2019 Arizona high school football season," 10 July 2019 Canton junior Chelsea Mitchell had one of the more impressive postseasons out all. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "The 2019 All-Courant girls outdoor track and field team," 10 July 2019 Stratford juniors Marjani Stanfill and Natalie Winn were preseason and watch list selections, respectively. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "SBISD players recognized on District 17-6A baseball team," 1 July 2019 IndyStar, Wochit In a span of two weeks in late May and June, Silver Creek junior Trey Kaufman picked up offers from Xavier, Indiana and Purdue. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Silver Creek's Class of 2021 forward Trey Kaufman feeling recruiting love, including offers from IU, Purdue," 1 July 2019 His parents were in the stands Wednesday night rooting for Commodores, a team that included five seniors and two redshirt juniors who arrived in Nashville the same time with Everett. NBC News, "Vanderbilt University beats Michigan to win college baseball's national championship," 27 June 2019 His new girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, is a Conservative Party staffer 23 years his junior who is now reportedly masterminding his leadership campaign. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Boris Johnson Is Likely to Be Britain's Next Prime Minister. Who Is He?," 21 June 2019

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

13 Jul 2019

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


ju·​nior | \ ˈjün-yər How to pronounce junior (audio) \

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 How to pronounce junior (audio) \

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

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