se·​nior | \ ˈsē-nyər How to pronounce senior (audio) \

Definition of senior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person older than another five years my senior
2a : a person with higher standing or rank
b : a senior fellow of a college at an English university
c : a student in the year preceding graduation from a school of secondary or higher level
3 capitalized : a member of a program of the Girl Scouts for girls in the 9th through 12th grades in school



Definition of senior (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of prior birth, establishment, or enrollment often used to distinguish a father with the same given name as his son
2 : higher ranking : superior senior officers
3 : of, relating to, or intended for seniors a senior center
4 : having a claim on corporate assets and income prior to other securities

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for senior

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of senior in a Sentence

Noun As his senior, she commanded quite a bit of respect. She was his senior in rank. high school juniors and seniors Adjective the senior vice president of marketing She is a senior aide to the president. a senior editor for the magazine He recently became a senior partner in the accounting firm. the men's senior baseball league
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Buckeyes’ other primary receivers — seniors Victor and Mack outside and senior K.J. Hill at H-back — are all sure-handed and poised. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State’s Chris Olave, one year after breakout vs. Michigan, keeps rising to the occasion: Friday Focus," 29 Nov. 2019 Participants are from different walks in life, including: low-income families, families headed by seniors on fixed income raising grandchildren, and families who are experiencing temporary financial setbacks. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Giving back in the Huffman, Crosby areas," 29 Nov. 2019 The guests of honor are a few dozen young beneficiaries — college seniors or recent graduates who have had their entire university education paid for by one of the foundations. Washington Post, "Party like a spy: Spookstock is intel world’s hush-hush bash," 29 Nov. 2019 Barring a bowl game appearance, Saturday’s Civil War is the end for 16 Oregon State seniors. oregonlive, "Tales of dating, a birthmark, a well-placed rock throw: Oregon State football families dish stories about their senior sons, brothers," 28 Nov. 2019 More than 2,000 meals were prepared for them at the center, while another 900 meals were delivered to disabled and home-bound seniors living nearby. Bob Egelko,, "SF officers and firefighters bring Thanksgiving to Chinese seniors," 28 Nov. 2019 Herbert, a senior who will play lacrosse next season at North Carolina, scored three touchdowns in the game for the second straight year, and Tucker, a senior set to play at Syracuse, also gained close to 200 yards a year ago. Rich Scherr,, "Calvert Hall sprints past Loyola Blakefield, 33-10, in 100th Turkey Bowl for sixth straight win in series," 28 Nov. 2019 The Tonight Show host volunteered at the Food Bank for New York City’s Harlem Community Kitchen, a partner of Feeding America, serving breakfast and helping seniors shop on Nov. 26. Sophie Dodd,, "See How the Stars Are Celebrating Thanksgiving 2019," 27 Nov. 2019 South has seven seniors to 17 underclassmen, including seven freshmen. Author: Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, "South hockey team wears down Dimond to remain undefeated," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Ascension DePaul holds its senior food distributions twice a month. Peggy O’hare,, "Longtime South Side nonprofit helps poor and vulnerable populations," 30 Nov. 2019 Logan Justus, IU’s redshirt senior place kicker who hadn’t missed in any of his first 14 attempts this season, missed three attempts Saturday. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU football wins Old Oaken Bucket in OT thriller, gets win No. 8 for first time in 26 years," 30 Nov. 2019 The 6-foot-4, 265-pound senior leads the Irish in tackles for loss with 10 and sacks with 5.5. Steve Kroner,, "Capsule preview of Notre Dame-Stanford game," 29 Nov. 2019 Things came to a head on November 29th, when the country’s senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called for a change of government. The Economist, "Protesters in Iraq topple a prime minister but want more," 29 Nov. 2019 Eliene Augenbraun Eliene Augenbraun is Scientific American's senior video producer. Eliene Augenbraun, Scientific American, "Subtle Ancient Footprints Come To Light," 29 Nov. 2019 With their debut, former EW senior writer Anthony Breznican weighed in on whether Porgs were meant to be cute or scary. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "In defense of Star Wars' cuddliest creatures… or why you should show Porgs and Ewoks more love," 28 Nov. 2019 Nicola Morgan-Hulme, senior brand relations manager at The Lego Group, said. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "This London Hotel Built Massive Christmas Displays Made Entirely of Legos," 27 Nov. 2019 In the past, when the current generation of senior guides were doing their Probatoires, the ice test took place on the Bossons Glacier, the tumbling expanse of steep ice that falls from the north face of Mont Blanc towards Chamonix. Simon Akam, Outside Online, "You Won’t Pass Chamonix’s Mountain Guiding Test," 27 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'senior.' 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 senior


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for senior


Middle English, from Latin, from senior, adjective


Middle English, from Latin, older, elder, comparative of sen-, senex old; akin to Goth sineigs old, Greek henos

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about senior

Time Traveler for senior

Time Traveler

The first known use of senior was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for senior

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Senior.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for senior


How to pronounce senior (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of senior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who is older than another person
: a person who is of a higher rank than another person
US : a student in the final year of high school or college



English Language Learners Definition of senior (Entry 2 of 2)

: older in age
: higher in standing or rank than another person in the same position
: of, relating to, or designed for older people


se·​nior | \ ˈsēn-yər How to pronounce senior (audio) \

Kids Definition of senior

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person older or higher in rank than someone else
2 : a student in the final year of high school or college
3 : an elderly person



Kids Definition of senior (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being older
Hint: This sense is often used to distinguish a father from a son with the same name. John Doe, Senior
2 : higher in rank or office Who is the senior partner of the law firm?
3 : relating to students in the final year of high school or college


se·​nior | \ ˈsē-nyər \

Legal Definition of senior

: having higher rank or priority a senior lienholder specifically : having a claim on corporate assets and income prior to other securities

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on senior

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for senior

Spanish Central: Translation of senior

Nglish: Translation of senior for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of senior for Arabic Speakers

Comments on senior

What made you want to look up senior? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


delight or enjoyment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!