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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sports mock draft projects the junior to be selected seventh by the Atlanta Hawks. Theo Lawson, The Seattle Times, "Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura, Brandon Clarke mum about future following NCAA tournament exit," 30 Mar. 2019 The setup can create conflicts of interests, with the senior company directing the junior to act in ways that benefit the parent’s own shareholders. Kosaku Narioka, WSJ, "Japan Inc. Is Decluttering—and Foreign Investors Love the Look," 31 July 2018 Over 6 2/3 scoreless innings, the junior struck out 13, walked two, and allowed five hits. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "UT eliminated from College World Series by Florida," 19 June 2018 Moritz Wagner: The junior is perfectly suited for the changing NBA. Matthew Giles, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the top 50 prospects in the 2018 NBA draft," 19 June 2018 In the state finals on Saturday night, the junior cleared the bar at 15-10 to achieve his second personal record in as many weeks. Andrew Turner, latimes.com, "Local duo capped deep CIF track and field run with medal-winning performances," 8 June 2018 Lev Valerievich Bure, born on February 20, 2000, clearly got his father's genes: The 19-year-old just started off his hockey career with the Odessa Jackalope, a junior hockey team based in Texas. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Meet 'Fuller House' Star Candace Cameron Bure's Husband and Three Kids," 17 Mar. 2019 Fifteen years ago, only 15 percent of all junior players were girls. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "At the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, a Changing of the Guard—And a Changing of the Game," 11 Apr. 2019 Both return this year — Higdon is a senior and Evans a junior. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football getting 'thunder and lightning' with running backs," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Deatherage struggled as a junior, hitting .218. Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, "Tigers outfield prospect Brock Deatherage a 'Kirk Gibson guy'," 13 July 2018 Roth, 16, a junior, hopes to study business in college and become an entrepreneur, following the lead of his father, who started a parking lot company in Brazil. Shayne Benowitz, miamiherald, "Teen concept could end deaths of children left in cars, saving dozens each year | Miami Herald," 2 May 2018 With Bryant and Brandon McKinney manning the safety position, Elijah Molden again shifted to nickel and junior Keith Taylor operated as one starting corner. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Observations from the UW Huskies’ sixth practice of spring football," 12 Apr. 2019 The 6-foot-1, 225-pound junior totaled 75 catches, 1,252 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns a season ago. Edgar Thompson, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Ole Miss rebuilding after NCAA sanctions, Rebels are No. 57 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 1 July 2018 This season one of the most exciting new figures on the fashion scene was Amanda Gorman, the 20-year-old Harvard junior who serves as Youth Poet Laureate of the United States. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Meet the Rising Poet Who Stole the Show at Milan Fashion Week," 27 Feb. 2019 Alexandra Sullivan is a 16-year-old junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Marie Claire, "A Year of Grieving and Healing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School," 14 Feb. 2019 Pagourtzis is a junior at Santa Fe who played on the school’s football team as a freshman, according to the Houston Chronicle. Adam Carlson, PEOPLE.com, "Teen Boy Suspected of Texas School Massacre Had Planned Suicide But 'Gave Himself Up' Instead: Gov.," 18 May 2018 But the new crop of juniors propelled the Red Raiders to state. Paul Johnson, Elgin Courier-News, "Red-hot Huntley: Hunter Rumachik and Red Raiders get on roll to reach Elite Eight of Phil Lawler Summer Classic," 14 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about junior

Statistics for junior

Last Updated

18 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for junior

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!