se·​nior | \ˈsē-nyər \

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

dean, doyen, elder, elder statesman, éminence grise, nestor

Synonyms: Adjective

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

Antonyms: Noun

baby, junior

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

Freshman Jayce Woodward, whose sister, Jalen, was a senior on the 2015 state-championship team, stopped playing for Seattle Reign after being part of their program at age 12 and 13. Matt Massey, The Seattle Times, "State soccer preview: Seattle Prep excelling thanks to players picking school over academy," 6 Nov. 2018 Younger son Ryan, 17, is a senior at Orange Lutheran High School who has committed to play at South Carolina next year. Fox News, "Hilinski family won't shun football after QB son's suicide," 28 Aug. 2018 Samantha Murrell is a senior at MSU also involved with InnovateGov who has been working at Drew. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "MSU-led internship program helps Detroit move forward," 14 July 2018 Costello also backs expansion of health savings accounts and wants Medicare Savings Accounts currently available elsewhere in the country to be made available to seniors in Florida. Steven Lemongello,, "Congress District 6: Where 6 candidates stand on issues," 13 July 2018 The oldest sibling, Ian, played left tackle at CdM and was a senior on the 2013 team that won the CIF State Division III Bowl Game at the StubHub Center in Carson. Matt Szabo,, "CdM’s Mark Redman becomes elite football prospect," 22 June 2018 As the number of dementia patients grows — to nearly one in three seniors by the time of death — advocates hope to get insurance and Medicare to extend music therapy to everyone who could benefit from it. Robert Mccoppin,, "Music Can Call Back Loved Ones Lost In Alzheimer's Darkness," 22 June 2018 Discounted tickets, $17, are available to seniors 60+ and children 12 years old and under. Lisa Gueli Regnante, Howard County Times, "Old-time folk music stars kick off Glen Mar concerts [Ellicott City]," 21 June 2018 Here to tip the scales toward the endurance of the human race are the seniors at East High School in Rockford, Illinois. Alex Davies, WIRED, "This Week in the Future of Cars: Burn, Baby, Burn," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The president met with Whitaker in the White House, often in the Oval Office, at least 10 times, a former senior administration official told me. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “Mueller Protection Rapid Response”," 11 Nov. 2018 This is the most important thing to keep in mind once your friend reveals their pregnancy news, Gillian Dean, M.D., senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, tells SELF. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "10 Tips for Supporting a Friend Who's Getting an Abortion," 7 Nov. 2018 The Cyber Command operation, described by unnamed senior military officials, is limited in scope and does not involve directly threatening Russian operatives. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Russian trolls get DM from US Cyber Command: We know who you are. Stop it," 23 Oct. 2018 The Duchess of Sussex arrived at St. George's Chapel with her husband, Prince Harry, and other senior members of the royal family. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Looked Stunning in Givenchy at Princess Eugenie's Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 Leading this shift is Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, who was hired away from British luxury fashion company Burberry in 2014. Andrew Zaleski, Curbed, "Can Apple stores be public spaces?," 3 Oct. 2018 Harper's Bazaar senior digital fashion editor Chrissy Rutherford has similar feelings. Noel Cymone Walker, Allure, "Is It Time to Reclaim the Word "Nappy"?," 25 Sep. 2018 The first bomb that killed four people exploded in the northwest near the election rally of a senior politician from an Islamist party who is running for parliament from the northwestern town of Bannu. Zaheer Babar And Abdul Sattar, USA TODAY, "At least 74 people killed in Pakistan election violence," 13 July 2018 The unexpected death of HNA’s second most senior executive occurred at a turbulent time for HNA. Alexandra Stevenson, New York Times, "HNA Will Transfer Co-Chairman’s Stake as Ownership Doubts Linger," 13 July 2018

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

18 Nov 2018

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

: 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 \

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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