9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[seen-yer] /ˈsin yər/
older or elder (designating the older of two men bearing the same name, as a father whose son is named after him, often written as Sr. or sr. following the name): I'd like to speak with the senior Mr. Hansen, please.
I'm privileged to introduce Mr. Edward Andrew Hansen, Sr.
Compare junior (def 1).
of earlier appointment or admission, as to an office, status, or rank:
a senior partner.
of higher or the highest rank or standing.
(in American schools, colleges, and universities) of or relating to students in their final year or to their class.
(in certain American colleges and universities) of or relating to the final two years of education, during which a student specializes in a certain field of study.
of, for, or pertaining to a senior citizen or senior citizens as a group:
senior discounts on local bus fares.
of earlier date; prior to:
His appointment is senior to mine by a year.
Finance. having a claim on payments, assets, dividends, or the like prior to other creditors, mortgages, stockholders, etc.
a person who is older than another.
a person of higher rank or standing than another, especially by virtue of longer service.
(in the U.S.) a student in the final year at a high school, preparatory school, college, or university.
a fellow holding senior rank in a college at an English university.
(initial capital letter) a member of the Girl Scouts from 14 through 17 years of age.
Origin of senior
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin, equivalent to sen(ex) old, old man + -ior comparative adj. suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for senior
  • senior rates on airline tickets give older travelers the opportunity to travel for a fraction of the cost of other travelers.
  • Peacekeeping has also provided an escape-route for disgruntled senior officers.
  • Words from our former senior editor for photography.
  • Dealing with kids and senior citizens are always a challenging tasks.
  • The senior princes and the country's clerics were split.
  • Judging from the kingdom's past, such changes may come about amicably, through consensus among senior princes.
  • With increased turnover comes reduced tenure in the top job-and, indeed, in other senior positions.
  • He suggests some potential long-term remedies that senior scientists and funding agency staff could push for.
  • He or she can appoint cabinet members and senior civil servants, and chair meetings of the cabinet.
  • It is true, however, that senior party members have different ideas and timetables regarding how to apply these values.
British Dictionary definitions for senior


higher in rank or length of service
older in years: senior citizens
of or relating to adulthood, maturity, or old age: senior privileges
  1. of, relating to, or designating more advanced or older pupils
  2. of or relating to a secondary school
(US) of, relating to, or designating students in the fourth and final year at college
a senior person
an elderly person
  1. a senior pupil, student, etc
  2. a fellow of senior rank in an English university
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: older, from senex old


(mainly US) being the older: used to distinguish the father from the son with the same first name or names: Charles Parker, Senior Abbreviation Sr, Sen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for senior

late 13c., from Latin senior "older," comparative of senex (genitive senis) "old," from PIE root *sen- "old" (see senile). Original use in English was as an addition to a personal name indicating "the father" when father and son had the same name; meaning "higher in rank, longer in service" first recorded 1510s.

The Latin word yielded titles of respect in many languages, cf. French sire, Spanish señor, Portuguese senhor, Italian signor. Senior citizen first recorded 1938, American English.


mid-14c., "person of authority;" late 14c., "person older than another," from senior (adj.). Sense of "fourth-year student" is from 1741, from earlier general sense of "advanced student" (1610s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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