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freshman

[fresh-muh n]
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noun, plural fresh·men.
  1. a student in the first year of the course at a university, college, or high school.
  2. a novice; beginner.
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a freshman: to outgrow one's freshman attitudes.
  2. lacking seniority or experience; junior: a freshman senator.
  3. required of or suitable for freshmen: freshman courses.
  4. initial; first: This is my freshman year with the company.

Origin of freshman

First recorded in 1540–50; fresh + -man
Related formsfresh·man·ship, nounpre·fresh·man, noun, plural pre·fresh·men.sub·fresh·man, noun, plural sub·fresh·men.

Usage note

See -man.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for freshman

n.

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