• synonyms


[fresh-muh n]
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.
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  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.
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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

Related Words for freshmen

novice, undergraduate, rookie, greenhorn, beginner, underclassman, undergrad, frosh

Examples from the Web for freshmen

Contemporary Examples of freshmen

Historical Examples of freshmen

Word Origin and History for freshmen



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper