[ fresh-muh n ]
/ ˈfrɛʃ mən /

noun, plural fresh·men.

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.

Nearby words

  1. freshener,
  2. fresher,
  3. freshet,
  4. freshie,
  5. freshly,
  6. freshman week,
  7. freshmanic,
  8. freshness date,
  9. freshwater,
  10. freshwater drum

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for freshman

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