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From fresh +‎ man.



freshman (plural freshmen)

  1. (obsolete) A novice; one in the rudiments of knowledge.
    • 1619 August 6, Howell, James, The Familiar Letters of James Howell, volume 1, published 1892, Letter XIII, page 39:
      I am but a Freshman yet in France, therefore I can send you no News but that all is here quiet, and 'tis no ordinary News that the French should be quiet.
  2. (US) A person of either sex entering the first year of an institution, especially a high school (ninth grade), a university, or legislative body.
    At the time I was a wide-eyed freshman, but I was soon to grow jaded and cynical.
    • 1596, Nashe, Thomas, Have with You to Saffron-Walden:
      When he was but yet a freshman in Cambridge.
    • 1611, Middleton, Thomas, The Roaring Girl, act 3, scene 3:
      Sir Alexander: Then he's a graduate.
      Sir Davy: Say they trust him not?
      Sir Alexander: Then is he held a freshman and a sot,¶ And never shall commence, but being still barr'd¶ Be expuls'd from the master's side to th' twopenny ward,¶ Or else i' th' hole be plac'd.



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