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

Our son Asher, 20, had just returned from a junior semester in Australia, and my wife and I were huddled around his laptop looking at photos from the trip. Allan Ripp, WSJ, "My Son’s Terrifying Leap," 24 Feb. 2019 Born in Seattle, Ohashi did four years on the USA Gymnastic's junior national team, and won the 2013 American Cup, beating teammate (and future four-time Olympic champion) Simone Biles. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "I'm Obsessed With UCLA Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi," 14 Jan. 2019 Becoming a national girls junior champion last year was an unforgettable experience. Clifton Brown, Indianapolis Star, "Center Grove's Erica Shepherd looking for repeat junior title, LPGA future," 14 July 2018 As a junior Roach boosted his 3-point percentage from 28.4 percent to 36.4 percent on 47 more attempts, though for a dynamic playmaker capable of drawing heaps of fouls, his 71 of 109 (65.1 percent) showing at the free throw line was an eyesore. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Roach’s return key for Longhorns," 12 July 2018 The 6-foot-3 rising junior, who already has offers from over some of women’s college basketball’s top programs, was one of 18 finalists for the team that will compete at the FIBA U17 World Cup this month. Katherine Dunn, baltimoresun.com, "After missing cut for U.S. team, St. Frances star Angel Reese plans more hoops, closer look at big offers," 14 July 2018 Black bears dominate, numbering 36, and are joined in the drive-through area by goats, Dall sheep, elk, wolves (tundra and arctic), bison (white and American) and bears (junior and adult). Scott Craven, azcentral, "Bearizona: Top things to do at drive-thru wildlife park in Williams," 12 July 2018 Missouri City Community Tennis Association July Open for junior, adults, seniors and super seniors begins Friday through Sunday at Lee LeClear Tennis Center. Terry St. John, Houston Chronicle, "Greater Houston athletic activities listings: July 13-15," 11 July 2018 The new starting quarterback, Kendall Hinton, is an experienced redshirt junior, though he’ll be suspended for the first three games because of an unspecified violation of team rules. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville football can (and can't) lose to Wake Forest," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 According to that assessment, just 7.5 percent of juniors who took the ACT were proficient in English language arts; and none were proficient in math. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Howard Fuller emerges as central figure in battle over the future of MPS North Division High School," 5 July 2018 Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "Cleveland’s Miller inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi," 1 July 2018 The buzz: Eichenlaub is not just one of the best juniors in the state, but the entire country. Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Free Press spring sports awards winners," 20 June 2018 The group of high school juniors had been steeped in this subject matter since November. Cristela Guerra, BostonGlobe.com, "‘The history of disability was to hide it,’ but Waltham students bring it to light," 19 June 2018 Withrow's team consisted of juniors Shemar Pinnock and Jahmari Wise and seniors Amir Willis and Tim Blair. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Meet of champions: Here are Greater Cincinnati's OHSAA track and field champions," 2 June 2018 Returns: Seven starters, including the entire midfield of juniors Jack Tigh (35 G, 14 A), Joseph Sessa (19 G, 6 A) and John Daniggelis (15 G, 6 A). Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Premature men’s lacrosse rankings for 2019, Part 4," 1 June 2018 In response to his requests, information released Friday by the District showed that 5 percent of the school system’s freshmen, 8 percent of sophomores and 7 percent of juniors have received failing grades solely because of absences. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "Too many absences? It might not be a problem for D.C. students after all.," 29 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.

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

9 Mar 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).


the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!