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

By the end of the parade Saturday morning, Ray Martinez, a member of ROTC and a senior at Lanier High School, was tired, walking home in the late morning sun. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "West side Diez y Seis parade blends culture, community," 14 Sep. 2019 Congratulations to North Ridgeville High School senior, Jonah Fechner, recently named a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist., "Football games, parades, dances on tap as schools celebrate Homecoming: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 13 Sep. 2019 Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors (ages 60-plus) and free for RBHS students with an ASB card and children under age 5. Pomerado News, "Broncos are celebrating ‘A Sweet Homecoming’," 12 Sep. 2019 Greene, a senior, completed 17-of-24 passes for 158 yards last week. Ben Thomas |, al, "Top RBs square off as Jordon Ingram, St. Paul’s host Jarris Williams, No. 7 Blount," 12 Sep. 2019 The time to act for Colorado seniors and families is now. Dylan Roberts, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Solution to drug pricing is in hands of U.S. Senate," 11 Sep. 2019 To learn how Consumer Energy Alliance is making energy affordable, reliable for working families, seniors and businesses across the country, visit Chris Ventura, Detroit Free Press, "Voters seek more information from state attorney general about Line 5 project," 3 Sep. 2019 Crescenta Valley High School seniors, from left, Lauren Kosco, Keegan Schmit and Krish Shah are part of an off-campus club called Hospital Heroes. Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, "Heroics in no short supply for Crescenta Valley High School trio," 3 Sep. 2019 Moorman, a fifth-year senior who worked as a blocking tight end in the opener, has gotten work on the line in 11 games. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Badgers expect to be without three starters for home opener against Central Michigan," 2 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Modi’s image has suffered because of the reaction by senior party members (one minister presented garlands to a lynch mob) and by his own slow responses. Washington Post, "Your Guide to India’s Upcoming General Election," 18 Sep. 2019 To make extra money for college, Paige Brown took a job in companion care with Northern Colorado Caregivers during her senior year of high school. Rj Sangosti, The Denver Post, "“It started out as just a job”: Teen caregiver forms unlikely friendship with 91-year-old on Colorado’s Eastern Plains," 15 Sep. 2019 As a senior account executive, his specialty has long been comedy. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "A Hollywood Publicist's Surprising Side Hustle: A Book About Shocking Onstage Deaths," 15 Sep. 2019 The media scrum around the senior safety scattered as soon as a Texas staffer ushered freshman wunderkind Jake Smith into the cavernous passageway outside the visitor’s locker room at NRG Stadium. Nick Moyle,, "In WR Jake Smith, Texas has yet another offensive weapon," 15 Sep. 2019 American critics of Huawei, including senior members of Congress and of the Trump administration, may scoff at Mr Ren’s casual tone. The Economist, "Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, defends Deng Xiaoping’s Chinese model," 12 Sep. 2019 One senior enlisted team member, who was not named, will also be redeployed, Lawrence said. NBC News, "Navy SEAL team leaders relieved of duty for 'breakdown of order and discipline"," 7 Sep. 2019 Then, over the course of Clarke’s senior year, undiagnosed mental health problems sent him spiraling into addiction. Rebecca Tan, Longreads, "Paul Clarke Wants to Live," 3 Sep. 2019 Three senior policy makers signaled concerns over euro-area growth in recent days. Washington Post, "ECB Is Awake and Asleep at the Same Time," 18 Sep. 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

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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