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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was on the committee and I happened to be the freshman who proposed it.

  • It was an impressive object-lesson on the evils of freshman victories.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • “Worry, it's bully of you to bring this freshman here,” declared the captain.

    The Young Pitcher Zane Grey
  • The freshman's past attitude had paved the way for a different answer.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • Every other member of the freshman class was barred from leaving the college grounds for a week.

    The Rival Pitchers Lester Chadwick
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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