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[fresh-muh n] /ˈfrɛʃ mən/
noun, plural freshmen.
a student in the first year of the course at a university, college, or high school.
a novice; beginner.
of, relating to, or characteristic of a freshman:
to outgrow one's freshman attitudes.
lacking seniority or experience; junior:
a freshman senator.
required of or suitable for freshmen:
freshman courses.
initial; first:
This is my freshman year with the company.
Origin of freshman
1540-50; fresh + -man
Related forms
freshmanship, noun
prefreshman, noun, plural prefreshmen.
subfreshman, noun, plural subfreshmen.
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for freshman
  • Supposedly something you should have learned in college freshman year.
  • Time for you to start your freshman year core science and ethics courses over again, my friend.
  • He hoped to discover the extent to which freshman year affected students.
  • During a soccer game her freshman year, an opposing player kicked her square in the back of the head.
  • Most freshman and sophomore books didn't fit that screen size.
  • He does such an outstanding job it's easy to forget it's a freshman effort.
  • It's not often that an incoming college freshman is already starting his own multimillion dollar business.
  • These people definitely need to review their freshman chemistry.
  • Incoming freshman representatives may be more sympathetic to scientific issues once they face the task of governing.
  • Their freshman frolic has given way to daunting challenges.
British Dictionary definitions for freshman


noun (pl) -ers, -men
a first-year student at college or university
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 freshman

mid-16c., "newcomer, novice," from fresh (adj.1) + man (n.). Sense of "university student in first year" is attested from 1590s. Related: Freshmen.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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