Definition of senior in US English:



  • 1Of or for older or more experienced people.

    ‘senior citizens’
    older, elder
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1US Of or for students in the final year of college or high school.
      • ‘I guess my upcoming senior year in high school was the final straw.’
      • ‘It was the close to the start of my first semester of my senior year at Sequioa High School.’
      • ‘By his senior year at Zanesville High School, he led the state of Ohio in junior league competition with an average of 210.’
      • ‘The sound of opening and slamming of lockers weaved in and out of my ears as I walked down the senior hall of Larson high school.’
      • ‘It had been the first day of my senior year at Edinburgh University when I saw him for the first time.’
      • ‘She enrolled at Temple University and in her senior year, was the manager of their men's gymnastics team.’
      • ‘The change of assessment was in line with the government's proposal to introduce new senior secondary and university education systems.’
      • ‘A number of top universities wooed Johnson during her senior year in high school.’
      • ‘She was a graduate student and I was in my senior year at the University of Texas.’
      • ‘He had to be kidding, giving kids an option of volunteering or taking an un-needed final, senior year.’
      • ‘At the time I was an aspiring scholar who lacked the funds to pay for my senior year at Howard University.’
      • ‘Mike is in his senior year at the University of Pittsburgh where he majors in Non-Fiction Writing.’
      • ‘Not so, said oldest child Max, now completing his senior year at Summerville High School.’
      • ‘Putting my actual weight and bad eating habits out there for my entire high-school senior class as fodder for our next reunion.’
      • ‘The day I met this man I've told you about was after my first day of my senior year at Gloria High School.’
      • ‘My name is Jane Elizabeth Summers and this is a journal of my senior year at Madison High School.’
      • ‘Haas, a twenty-one-year-old pianist, is in her senior year at the University of Pittsburgh.’
      • ‘This went on for the entire final semester of my senior year of high school.’
      • ‘Right now, I'm in the middle of my third month of my senior year in high school in a new school.’
      • ‘Not much to say, except I will be starting senior year of high school next week!’
    2. 1.2 Relating to or denoting competitors of above a certain age or of the highest status in a particular sport.
      • ‘This throw also won the senior women's competition.’
      • ‘Merritt had one of his best games for the club and Pearce also put in an impressive display on his full senior debut.’
      • ‘He is also targeting a senior goalkeeper and has a few names on his short-list to consider.’
      • ‘Yesterday the Dutch women also earned a silver medal in the senior women's team competition.’
      • ‘However, earlier on she had produced some creditable performances in her first four events in the senior women's pentathlon.’
      • ‘But he's also a talented sportsman, playing competitive cricket at a senior level in England.’
      • ‘Whether it was senior championship or junior events, the trio had shut out the other nations to take the first three slots.’
      • ‘The three men have played hundreds of games alongside each other in the red of United, but this is the first time they find themselves in competitive senior opposition.’
      • ‘He will take part in the senior men's decathlon against Scotland, Ireland and Wales.’
      • ‘He made his senior debut in the British League Cup at Sheffield last week, scoring one point, while he has been a regular in the Colts side.’
      • ‘He reads the game well, attacked with purpose and put many of his senior teammates to shame with a display which defied his years.’
      • ‘It was as good a performance as one could have asked from a 17-year-old girl, who was making her debut into the Indian senior team.’
      • ‘She is a double junior world champion, a senior bronze medallist in 2003 and the reigning senior World Cup champion.’
      • ‘By the time they were 16, the fabulous Baker boys were making their senior basketball debuts for Brixton TopCats.’
      • ‘Halifax are the senior side in the competition and if their quarter-final win over Bradford Park Avenue is anything to go by they should reach the final.’
      • ‘Since making his senior debut for Western Province in 2003, Burger has fended off his fair share of opponents on the field.’
      • ‘He is due back in London for the senior competition this week, but his appearance will depend on his state of mind.’
      • ‘The 22-year-old has promised much since making his senior debut for Great Britain three years ago.’
      • ‘With several new faces in the ranks, he wants the senior players back for pre-season earlier than usual to give them seven weeks to gel ahead of the new campaign.’
      • ‘His only appearance in the senior side came in pre-season in a friendly behind closed doors at Middlesbrough.’
    3. 1.3British Of, for, or denoting schoolchildren above a certain age, typically eleven.
      • ‘It is wholly fortunate that when I went to a more enlightened senior school, they taught us about menstruation a couple of months before I had my first ever period.’
      • ‘The children all participated in the liturgy while the senior school children sang suitable hymns.’
      • ‘The senior school is large enough to offer an extensive curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities but small enough to recognise the individual.’
      • ‘Parents are being invited to public meetings in the Ripon and Craven areas to discuss changes to the selection procedure for senior schools.’
      • ‘The battle for funds has filtered down to senior schools where girls are demanding, and getting, equality.’
      • ‘They even spent their early childhood living in the same street in Rochdale, though their paths didn't cross until they went to senior school.’
      • ‘Over the next 50 years the senior boys and girls moved to other schools, and in 1946 the school was divided into a junior school and an infant school.’
      • ‘Sutton's senior schools are performing well above the national average, new Government figures reveal.’
      • ‘Most senior schools have a sixth-form entry as well.’
      • ‘Maybe Peter had decided to take that other senior girl from my school.’
      • ‘Any junior or senior girl can be nominated; all she has to do is have her date bring her up on the stage.’
      • ‘Not only does it give added spice to the transition to senior school, it reconnects primary and secondary teachers who are often more rivals than colleagues.’
      • ‘Four senior schools are the biggest winners and will receive £1m each to build facilities fit for the 21st century.’
      • ‘It had its own library, and junior and senior schools.’
      • ‘It didn't matter that Carrie was the popular senior girl at my school, she still was a close friend of mine even though I'd thought we'd grown apart.’
      • ‘I followed her gaze over to where he was standing in a circle with a few popular senior guys and girls I recognized from my school.’
      • ‘Bloor showed her potential by winning the English Schools Championship senior girls long jump title last summer with a jump of 5.83m.’
      • ‘It will mean the end of single-sex education for girls in the senior school at Hull High and a move for pupils at Hull Grammar to improved facilities at the present Hull High site.’
      • ‘Thus, year-upon-year, thence to junior, thence to senior school, I made my pedestrian way with slowly accumulating virtue.’
      • ‘The work will involve building two new campuses for primary and special needs education, a new senior school, and converting an existing building.’
    4. 1.4postpositive (in names) denoting the elder of two who have the same name in a family, especially a father as distinct from his son.
      ‘Henry James senior’
      • ‘What about the handwriting analysis linking Hodel senior to the anonymous letters sent to newspapers?’
      • ‘The market expects O'Reilly senior to take the position of chairman.’
      • ‘Mr Fisher senior, who lives in Totton, then dialled 999 and the Coastguard helicopter was scrambled from Lee-on-the-Solent.’
      • ‘For a short time, after the death of Mr James Smith senior in the 1950's, the garage was leased by Mr Elliot and known as Moat House Motors.’
      • ‘Walter never knew his grandfather, John Jones senior, who was a seaman and died at sea when son John and his two sisters were small.’
      the elder
      View synonyms
  • 2Holding a high and authoritative position.

    ‘he is a senior Finance Ministry official’
    • ‘When the investigation was conducted, he was head of the Fraud Squad and held the rank of senior superintendent.’
    • ‘He said salaries up to the rank of senior superintendent would be improved and money channelled towards scarce skills.’
    • ‘I think it needs to flow into the competencies and the portfolio of experience that people need to have to demonstrate in order to be considered for more senior ranks.’
    • ‘The boomers are finally stepping into the senior ranks of power - in the media, as elsewhere.’
    • ‘Most people had no idea that anything significant had changed in the senior ranks of the Conservative party, or that any new message had been sent out.’
    • ‘And I have never seen such distrust of a public official in the senior ranks.’
    • ‘It is a time which will haunt Sonia for a long time to come - the slowest ever in her career since entering senior ranks.’
    • ‘There is always the option, of course, if the line manager cannot resolve the dispute, that it effectively goes up to somebody of a senior rank.’
    • ‘Mr Kenworthy's letter said that due to re-organisation, certain senior ranks in the special constabulary would cease to exist from the end of this month.’
    • ‘I left the Ministry of Agriculture many years ago now, yet my friend Tony has remained there, rising steadily to the rank of senior pencil shuffler.’
    • ‘However, the message clearly being delivered by the bishop was said last night to be causing increased worry among senior ranks of the Conservative Party.’
    • ‘Two of his children have a successful career in the police force, with both holding the rank of senior adjutant police commissioner.’
    • ‘He began to purge senior ranks, firing officers he considered disloyal.’
    • ‘Some may say that your organisation, who are clearly taking a number of initiatives to help yourselves, could do with a little help from the senior ranks.’
    • ‘Activists may be effusive but gloom envelops senior ranks’
    • ‘In the NCO corps, minorities are actually overrepresented in the senior ranks.’
    • ‘Do you feel there is a genuine wish amongst your colleagues, and if necessary, at more senior rank in the Metropolitan Police, to make such a model work?’
    • ‘We need highly skilled, trained and motivated senior ranks, well-versed in anti-terrorism as well as in management.’
    • ‘Some ministers and senior bureaucrats joined the ranks of the corrupt.’
    • ‘Do the junior ranks feel that you deal fairly with their request for funding and representation when it is a senior rank whom they are making the complaint against?’
    higher-ranking, highest-ranking, high-ranking, superior, top, chief, more important, most important, high-status
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1senior topredicative Holding a higher position than.
      ‘the people senior to me in my department’
      • ‘The tax man is senior to all but secured creditors, but from what I understand, in most bankruptcies, there is precious little left after the secured creditors have gotten theirs.’
      • ‘‘I had the privilege of observing his surgical skills closely,’ said Rao, who is senior to Ramani.’
      • ‘Some of his colleagues who were senior to him in the service and occupied positions of power must have felt it annoying and irritating to report to, and frequently answer the queries of, a relatively junior officer like Hunter.’
      • ‘Why does it make you feel better once someone senior to you fails at the same task that you failed?’
      • ‘We've had great monarchs, like Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria because there have been no males senior to them.’


  • 1A person who is a specified number of years older than someone else.

    ‘she was only two years his senior’
    • ‘There was this girl who was a few years my senior from work that I was totally into but she was totally in love with someone else.’
    • ‘There are others far more deserving of your hand. There is Alfred, the shy divinity student lodging with Reverend and Mrs. Baxter, and our cousin Joseph, and of course, Mr. Pratt, the widowed pig farmer who is 30 years your senior but quite prosperous.’
    • ‘As he looked around the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple where the quorum held its meetings, he discovered that every man there was at least twenty years his senior.’
    1. 1.1 An elderly person, especially one who is retired and living on a pension.
      • ‘In fact, many of the states with large shares of seniors tend to have more seniors in the ‘needy elderly’ age group of 75 and above.’
      • ‘Rudy Lawrence, president of the Council of Senior Citizens, wants seniors to register for PharmaCare.’
      • ‘This is going to allow seniors, especially low-income seniors, to get benefits that they never could hope to have and never could expect to pay for.’
      • ‘He says his problem is that many seniors have retired.’
      • ‘The cutbacks cover the costs of new monthly $65 pensions and food vouchers for seniors, single mothers, and disabled people.’
      • ‘For some seniors and groups representing seniors, Canada remains the place to purchase lower priced prescription drugs.’
      • ‘Senior rentals are townhomes for seniors to rent.’
      • ‘If less money goes into SS, more will have to come from somewhere to honor the commitments already made to current and soon to be retired seniors.’
      • ‘That's why the White House wants to use tax subsidies and other incentives to encourage seniors to buy long-term-care insurance to pay for their own old age.’
      • ‘In 1926 it was the National Progressives that agreed to support the Liberals provided that they enacted legislation granting old age security pensions for seniors.’
      • ‘The other day I spoke with Art Ridley, a retired firefighter, who drives seniors to social events put on by the Seniors' Hub.’
      • ‘To finance the plan, high-income seniors paid steeper premiums than the low-income elderly.’
      • ‘But those numbers assume no dramatic change in the increasing ability of seniors to retire later and otherwise continue to earn income that is taxable.’
      • ‘How are we going to make that commitment to seniors who are retiring?’
      • ‘It actually lowers benefits for millions of poor seniors and other seniors who have drug benefits under retiree plans.’
      • ‘The United States government has done a superb job of handling retirement funds for seniors.’
      • ‘She wants to reclaim the word old and rejects euphemisms like elderly and seniors.’
      • ‘Democrats and Republicans agree that our seniors deserve a secure retirement and a prescription drug coverage in Medicare.’
      • ‘That will never happen, especially on a street that is 70 percent rental units populated with seniors and retirees where a very expensive contractor comes to clear the driveways.’
      • ‘These mostly retired seniors are likely to use this additional residence seasonally, when it's too cold or too hot at their primary home.’
      retired person, pensioner, old-age pensioner, oap
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A student in the final year of college or high school.
      • ‘Anyways, the juniors and seniors at our high school have mixed grade, co-ed gym classes.’
      • ‘The program matches juniors and seniors with faculty for hands-on experience.’
      • ‘Came the big day and she was as nervous and fidgety as a college senior before finals.’
      • ‘Our results indicated that within this college population, the freshmen and sophomore students had higher reactions to stress than juniors and seniors.’
      • ‘The other boys there are all seniors wearing their black graduation robes.’
      • ‘It surveys samples of students representing all high-school seniors - and two younger cohorts as well.’
      • ‘By 1992, graduating high-school seniors in 15 states were required to pass a basic-skills test.’
      • ‘A month later, Elle and I were on our way to Germany along with other freshmen and juniors and seniors.’
      • ‘A simple head count of freshmen and seniors in homerooms on any given day would have confirmed suspicions.’
      • ‘I was in my senior year in secondary high school, my sister was a senior in junior high school and the twins were in elementary school.’
      • ‘Many of the juniors and seniors in the class were snoozing lightly, as always, and others were staring at the teacher as if he was a madman.’
      • ‘He's just going through the motions, like a high school senior who's already been accepted to college.’
      • ‘In the high schools, peer mentors are juniors and seniors who teach freshmen the Take Ten skills, among other duties.’
      • ‘Teams are composed of four students, two seniors and two juniors, and they have to answer 10 rounds of individual questions.’
      • ‘Graduating seniors who had just completed student teaching were asked to rate their preparation in the area of pedagogical skills.’
      • ‘High school seniors and undergraduate college students pursuing a career in equine publishing were eligible to compete for the AHP Student Award.’
      • ‘Today, she is a successful high school senior bound for college in the fall.’
      • ‘Mortar Board is a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for outstanding achievement in scholarship, leadership and service.’
      • ‘It's currently open to minority students with high academic standing who are juniors, seniors or graduate students.’
      • ‘They didn't have enough money to pay so many teachers so they decided to combine seniors and juniors into the same gym classes.’
      • ‘This also means that the juniors are now seniors, the freshmen are now sophomores, you get the idea.’
      • ‘Dillon closed his journal once his last sentence was finished and filed out of the classroom with the rest of his fellow classmates, also seniors.’
      • ‘I like my presidents to have a little more travel experience than, say, your average college senior.’
      • ‘Seventy eight percent of the undergraduate respondents were seniors or juniors.’
      • ‘Eight Maryland seniors taught fellow students and teachers about psychology and adolescent health.’
    3. 1.3British A student in a school for older children, especially those eleven and over.
    4. 1.4 A competitor of above a certain age or of the highest status in a particular sport.
      ‘at fourteen you move up to the seniors’
      • ‘Being part of this team and playing with these players, especially the seniors, has been something special for me?’
      • ‘A rotation policy would give players - especially the seniors - time to rest.’
      • ‘That imbalance can threaten a team, especially if the seniors are good players.’
      • ‘A coach cannot place a call to a player until a year after that, while official campus visits aren't allowed until players are seniors.’
      • ‘Commitment of the players, particularly the seniors, for the national cause was a corollary.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, literally ‘older, older man’, comparative of senex, sen- ‘old man, old’.