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 pertaining to students in their final year or to their class.
(in certain American colleges and universities) of or pertaining 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.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
senior (ˈsiːnjə)
1.  higher in rank or length of service
2.  older in years: senior citizens
3.  of or relating to adulthood, maturity, or old age: senior privileges
4.  education
 a.  of, relating to, or designating more advanced or older pupils
 b.  of or relating to a secondary school
5.  (US) of, relating to, or designating students in the fourth and final year at college
6.  a senior person
7.  an elderly person
8.  a.  a senior pupil, student, etc
 b.  a fellow of senior rank in an English university
[C14: from Latin: older, from senex old]

Senior (ˈsiːnjə)
chiefly (US) Sr, Abbreviation: Sen being the older: used to distinguish the father from the son with the same first name or names: Charles Parker, Senior

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., from L. senior "older," comparative of senex (gen. senis) "old," from PIE base *sen- (see senile). Original use in English was as addition to a personal name when father and son had the same name; meaning "higher in rank, longer in service" first recorded 1510s.
The L. word yielded titles of respect in many languages, cf. Fr. sire, Sp. señor, It. signor. Noun sense of "fourth-year student" is from 1741, from earlier general sense of "advanced student" (1610s). Seniority "priority on office or service" is from mid-15c. Senior citizen first recorded 1938, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Senior rates on airline tickets give older travelers the opportunity to travel for a fraction of the cost of other travelers.
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.
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