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

As many as 25 teens, mostly from Jones High, help run the company throughout the year and most are entering their pivotal senior of high school, Burroughs said. Ryan Gillespie,, "Steve Harvey appearance nets Orlando teens' Black Bee Honey sweet national deal," 11 July 2018 The center means a lot to our seniors and the center means a lot to the community. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Oswego Senior Center official hopeful plans for old school site will allow center to stay put," 11 July 2018 Our seniors were instantly coaching our core values, beliefs and techniques to the younger kids. Rich Mayor,, "IC Catholic's Khali Saunders ready to be a mentor after committing to Purdue," 2 July 2018 Ten years his senior, Cheryl was 24, working as a judge on The X Factor. Rebecca Farley,, "Liam Payne & Cheryl Cole Have Made The "Tough Decision" To Separate," 2 July 2018 With his seniors holding their own at doubles, Gardner was right. Craig Larson,, "The spring season got off to a soggy start, but had a brilliant finish," 28 June 2018 Families attend schools in the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District including Lindsey Elementary, which just completed its first year, Leaman Junior High and Fulshear High School, graduating its first seniors in 2019. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Lennar Expands Fort Bend Presence With New Homes in Jordan Ranch," 21 June 2018 School administrators from Andover High School in Andover, Massachusetts, were forced to make an apology after one of their graduating seniors used a quote from Adolf Hitler as his senior yearbook quote. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Yearbook Quote Attributed to Nazi Forces a Massachusetts High School to Issue Apology," 18 June 2018 Rancho Bernardo High School’s graduation ceremony for its 540 seniors will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the campus’ stadium, 13010 Paseo Lucido. Elizabeth Marie Himchak And Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Class of 2018 ends its high school years," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 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

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

21 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

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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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