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

The 5-foot-9 junior quarterback threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 17 times for 104 yards in a 48-40 loss at Lynn Classical. BostonGlobe.com, "Ayden Pereira, Central Catholic," 16 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, junior defensive tackle Naquan Jones, an Evanston alum, has been credited with two tackles and one quarterback hurry. Bob Narang, chicagotribune.com, "College notes: Lake Forest grads reunite on the pitch as D-III field hockey players," 15 Sep. 2019 To its credit, Harvard-Westlake fought back behind junior quarterback Brandon Roderick, who completed 13 of 24 passes for 208 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Andrew J. Campa, Burbank Leader, "Rare undefeated run continues for Burroughs football," 13 Sep. 2019 Later in the same quarter, junior quarterback Ethan Thompson connected with Timmy Conner, who tossed a hook-and-lateral pass to Xander McClure for a 78-yard score to put the visitors up 14-0. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Football: Liberty ‘mentally prepared’ for rest of season after Linganore," 10 Sep. 2019 Bishop’s junior quarterback Tyler Buchner, who has committed to Notre Dame, had 465 yards passing and 295 rushing. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cathedral Catholic football team on the rise in rankings," 9 Sep. 2019 The Buffalos boast three more 3-star prospects in offensive tackle Larry Moore, linebacker Warren Robinson and junior guard Lamont Vaz, ranked No. 36 at his position and No. 90 in the state for the Class of 2021. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Fort Bend area stocked with top football recruits," 27 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, junior defensive tackle Jordon Scott looks bound for the 2020 NFL Draft. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, "Hotline newsletter: Yes, Sports Illustrated ranked Stanford’s fake Tree over Colorado’s real buffalo (and loads more)," 16 Aug. 2019 A day after announcing the departure of sophomore guard Travis Adams because of a chronic back condition, the Seawolves announced the addition of junior guard DeAndre Osuigwe. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "UAA men’s basketball team gets a last-minute addition from Florida," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Chaminade-Madonna junior wide receiver Bralon Brown has seen his recruitment pick up over the past several months. Adam Lichtenstein, sun-sentinel.com, "Recruiting notebook: Chaminade’s Bralon Brown looking to teammates as his recruitment heats up," 16 Sep. 2019 Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2002 after playing juniors in OHL Guelph, the stocky, offensive-minded defenseman had a brief NHL career. BostonGlobe.com, "(Debee Tlumacki for The Boston Globe)," 15 Sep. 2019 Texas finally will get some reinforcements at running back with junior Daniel Young expected to return from a high ankle sprain. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Texas’ Tom Herman and Yancy McKnight back in familiar territory at Rice," 13 Sep. 2019 Mount Saint Joseph All-Metro junior forward Tyquan Stroud has scored enough big varsity goals that missing a penalty kick in the opening minute of an important game isn’t going to drop his confidence. Glenn Graham, baltimoresun.com, "No. 7 Mount Saint Joseph finds answers for 2-0 home soccer win over No. 3 McDonogh," 13 Sep. 2019 Emotions ran high throughout the night as Rosemount honored Cap George, a junior who was diagnosed with brain cancer this summer. Paul Hodowanic, Twin Cities, "High school football: RaJa Nelson powers Lakeville North with ‘springboard’ TD," 13 Sep. 2019 Another variable that wasn’t present in the opener was Greg Fecanin, a junior who started three games last season at center following an arm injury to Lee Dufour. Evan Dudley, al, "‘Repping it out’: UAB offensive line remains work in progress," 13 Sep. 2019 Hill, a redshirt junior, was mostly a spectator last year against Arkansas. Mike Chambers, The Denver Post, "After airing it out in an upset of Arkansas last year, Colorado State is looking for balance," 12 Sep. 2019 Girls Viviana Allen, Ben Davis cross country Allen, a junior, won the Brownsburg Invitational with a time of 14:58.7, good for the best time in the state this year. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Vote for IndyStar high school athletes of the week," 9 Sep. 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

21 Sep 2019

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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
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

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