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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for senior

Synonyms: Noun


Synonyms: Adjective

aged, aging (or ageing), ancient, elderly, geriatric, long-lived, old, older, over-the-hill, senescent, unyoung

Antonyms: Noun


Antonyms: Adjective

young, youthful

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Examples of senior in a Sentence


As his senior, she commanded quite a bit of respect. She was his senior in rank. high school juniors and seniors


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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of the 358 graduating seniors, seven are National Merit Scholars and 23 have signed commitments to college athletics programs. Slade Rand,, "Simsbury High an ‘extraordinary stepping stone’ for 2019 graduates," 15 June 2019 Admission: $15 (discounts for seniors, students and active military). Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "A NASA artist documented Apollo 11. Now, his work is on display in Scottsdale," 13 June 2019 The network also raises funds for other needs, like field trip fees, caps and gowns for graduating seniors, emergency housing and food assistance and beds for homeless students, according to a flier. Libby Solomon,, "Dumbarton Middle School to join Student Support Network in September," 12 June 2019 The bill, which passed 24-11, would have provided coverage to about 150,000 young adults and about 28,000 seniors, according to the Ventura County Star. Catherine Kim, Vox, "California is about to be the first state to expand health care to young unauthorized immigrants," 12 June 2019 Tickets cost $5 for adults; $4 for Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness members and seniors; and $3 for children (under 3 years old are free). Annika Hom,, "Enjoy traditional dances at pow-wow in Danvers," 11 June 2019 Lakefront Festival of Art: Friday, June 21-Sunday, June 23, on the grounds of the Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Drive Admission: $19 adult; $17 seniors and students; $10 Museum members; Free for children 12 and under. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Don't have a babysitter for your favorite summer festival? Here are some fun things your kids can do.," 10 June 2019 Most of this team is made up of seniors, who are planning to attend different colleges. CBS News, "Varsity barbecue competitions take off in Texas high schools," 8 June 2019 Springville's Abby Swaney, Sand Rock's Brylie St. Clair, Madison Academy's Claire West, Hatton's Emma Latham, Spring Garden's Payton McGinnis, all seniors, along with Pickens Academy junior Shelby Lowe all earned their fifth selection to the team. Dennis Victory,, "ASWA All-State softball team features repeat selections, state champions," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The report also recommended the board hold senior county management more accountable for keeping them updated on the system upgrade process. Jim Johnson, The Mercury News, "Grand jury blasts Monterey County for financial, HR system debacle," 15 June 2019 Benson dispensed with seniority and chose the ship’s most capable senior officer to oversee its critical 24-hour watch. Sam Walker, WSJ, "In Menacing Seas, the Navy Relies on ‘Battle Rhythm’," 15 June 2019 This year, there are about 100 senior engineering undergraduates in capstone classes, carrying out 24 different projects, said David Gillett, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCSD Jacobs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD students restore motion to five-year-old boy’s arms," 15 June 2019 Breaking the stereotypes of senior community living is at the core of 19th Avenue Operations’ The Palazzo and a $10 million renovation that’s in process and expected to be completed this year. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "Resort amenities, larger living space, aging in place services cater to seniors at The Palazzo in Phoenix," 15 June 2019 Reaching the final wasn’t easy for a Male team that trailed 1-0 early and managed just three hits against Clay County senior left-hander Brianda Owens. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Male softball team survives scare against Clay County, advances to state final," 15 June 2019 Lauren Goode is a senior writer at WIRED who covers consumer technology. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "App Makers Are Mixed on ‘Sign In With Apple’," 15 June 2019 Cost: $80 per adult, $78 per senior ages 65 and up and $75 per child ages three to 12., "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 15 June 2019 Jake Stout came into his senior baseball season expecting to be a starter for HSE. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Jake Stout was a 'flashy' starter. Then he rode the bench. Now, he can help HSE win state.," 15 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for senior

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for senior

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

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More Definitions for senior



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

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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

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