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, elder, elder statesman

Synonyms: Adjective

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

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

The biggest play to date, though, for the incoming senior has been off the field in support of an underclassman in need. Scott Springer,, "Ladonnis Griffin's biggest play ever at Lakota West was a GoFundMe page," 12 July 2018 Isaiah Lacey, Indian Creek: The senior was a two-way standout for the Braves last season. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "High school football: 10 small-school Indianapolis-area players to watch," 9 July 2018 But the seniors could soon be playing against each other thanks to their talents on the court and in the classroom. Steve Sadin,, "Committing to Cambridge: New Trier's Ciaran Brayboy picks Harvard basketball," 9 July 2018 The 6-foot-4 incoming senior is a four-star recruit who has committed to the University of South Carolina. Andrew Turner,, "Edison’s Battle at the Beach to showcase wealth of talent," 7 July 2018 The three seniors have accounted for 16 of the team’s victories. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "With hitting, pitching and chemistry, Pius XI is ready for run to the state tournament," 6 July 2018 The race adds another chapter to the senior's already-wild college career. Michael Lycklama, idahostatesman, "Draft rumors swirled around BYU's Mangum last year. Now he’s fighting for a starting job," 26 June 2018 The decline of pensions and increase in 401(k) and similar plans is one reason many seniors aren’t as ready for retirement as the previous generation. Leslie Scism, WSJ, "A Generation of Americans Is Entering Old Age the Least Prepared in Decades," 22 June 2018 As a graduate transfer, the fifth-year senior will be eligible to play immediately in November. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Stanford graduate transfer Reid Travis commits to Kentucky," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

At the time, Taofeek was a senior in high school living in his parents Albany, New York home. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Taofeek Abijako Is Youngest Designer to Show at Men's NYFW," 13 July 2018 Ross played sports and was known for hosting weekend parties, while Noa was a bookworm and senior class president. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Inside a Greenery-Filled Hawaiian Wedding—Where the Bridesmaids Wore Power Suits," 13 July 2018 Delta also announced the appointment of a chief strategy officer, Gary Chase, who was previously the company’s senior vice president of financial planning and analysis, investor relations and corporate planning. Kelly Yamanouchi, ajc, "Delta to trim growth plans for flights this fall," 13 July 2018 Both camps emphasize boating and seamanship, said Sallie Ransom, senior vice president of financial development for both camps – and a Seafarer alumna herself. Page Leggett, charlotteobserver, "At these YMCA camps, kids learn to sail, take in nature and 'make friends for life'," 12 July 2018 Center for Biological Diversity senior counsel Bill Snape told BuzzFeed News. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "How the New Supreme Court Could Halt Climate Action," 12 July 2018 Republicans are trying to unseat the state's senior senator, Democrat Bill Nelson, and maintain control of Congress. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Political muscle halts release of Lake O's foul water. The reprieve won't last long," 9 July 2018 Joshua Meltzer, senior fellow in the global economy and development program at the Brookings Institution There’s always potentially an off-ramp. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Can the US-China trade war be stopped? 11 experts weigh in.," 8 July 2018 Andrew was a member of the Blues and Royals, the second-most senior regiment in the Army under the ultimate command of Queen Elizabeth. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "How Camilla Parker Bowles Gained a Large Net Worth Even Before Marrying Prince Charles," 6 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

7 Oct 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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