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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of junior in a Sentence

Adjective She is a junior partner in the law firm. junior advisers to the governor Noun They are my juniors in rank. She's a junior at the state college.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Gross, an independent who has secured the Democratic nomination, is running against Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan to be Alaska’s junior senator. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "Al Gross reports raising $9 million since July 1 in his race to unseat Sen. Dan Sullivan," 8 Oct. 2020 Harris, who has served as California’s junior Democratic senator since 2017, was the state’s attorney general for six years before entering Congress. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "LIVE: Coronavirus front and center as Pence, Harris square off in only vice presidential debate," 7 Oct. 2020 Harris, the junior California senator and former California attorney general, has revealed at least 16 years' worth of documents. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden and Harris release tax returns hours before first debate," 29 Sep. 2020 Illinois' junior senator, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, also voted no. Rick Pearson, chicagotribune.com, "Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says he doesn’t know if Amy Coney Barrett is qualified for Supreme Court," 26 Sep. 2020 A few years later, Barack Obama, then the junior senator from Illinois, read it during his first campaign for the Presidency. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, "Marilynne Robinson’s Essential American Stories," 25 Sep. 2020 Texas' junior senator, Ted Cruz, questioned The Atlantic’s objectivity on Sunday by amplifying a tweet that details campaign donations from the magazine’s owner, Laurene Powell Jobs, to Biden’s campaign. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Texas Republicans mostly silent on Atlantic report that Trump called military ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’," 8 Sep. 2020 Trump told Paul about his plan to recognize the officers during a phone call with Paul on Friday, according to Kelsey Cooper, the junior senator from Kentucky's spokeswoman. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "Donald Trump: Police who escorted Rand Paul after RNC to receive 'medal of some kind'," 29 Aug. 2020 The Wolves should be improved offensively as junior quarterback Grant Billson and senior running back Mitchell Smith return as do receivers Brody Reina and Cole Piazza. Joseph Halm, NOLA.com, "District 6-5A football preview: Slidell seeks three-peat, also yearn for deep playoff run," 27 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bowden won the Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile player as a junior in 2019 after finishing in the top five nationally in all-purpose yards. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Dolphins rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. vows to keep his head down and move forward after unusual start to NFL career," 8 Oct. 2020 Dijon Williams, a senior, appeared in 10 games for the Hoyas as a freshman, missed his sophomore season because of injury and played in five games as a junior. Washington Post, "Georgetown football player set up robbery that led to fatal shooting, D.C. police say," 6 Oct. 2020 Tyler Knight, Mogadore: The Wildcats lean on their junior both at running back and linebacker. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Wickliffe, Mogadore powered up for run: OHSAA Division VI football playoffs preview," 5 Oct. 2020 Her husband, Ismael Lugo, was one year her junior, had two children of his own, and became stepfather to all five of Lunisol's children, with a 30-year span between the oldest and youngest. David Crary, Star Tribune, "2 toddlers lose adoptive mom; older sisters fill the void," 5 Oct. 2020 The Buccaneers quarterback, 43, became the first since at least 1950 to start against a QB 20 years his junior after facing 22-year-old Chargers rookie Justin Herbert on Sunday. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season," 5 Oct. 2020 As a junior, the inside linebacker didn’t regain his starting job until the Tigers' fourth game last year. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens ILB Patrick Queen ‘played really well' in win, but there’s room for improvement in coverage," 5 Oct. 2020 Wells, who was the Class 3A state runner-up as a junior, dominated the race and clocked a time of 17 minutes, 24.2 seconds. Buddy Collings, orlandosentinel.com, "Circle Christian sweeps Qdoba golf titles | Varsity Report," 4 Oct. 2020 Since graduating a year early from Little Elm in 2019 as the Dallas area’s leading scorer as a junior, Hampton has focused on his professional future. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "RJ Hampton on potential to join hometown Mavs, Luka Doncic in NBA draft: ‘That would be super sick’," 29 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for junior

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for junior

Last Updated

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Junior.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/junior. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for junior


How to pronounce junior (audio)

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 nameJohn 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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