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From fresh +‎ man.


  • IPA(key): /ˈfɹɛʃmən/
  • (file)


freshman (plural freshmen)

  1. (US, Canada, Philippines) A person (of either sex) entering the first year of an institution, especially a high school (ninth grade for US and Canada, grade 7 for Philippines), a university, or legislative body.
    At the time I was a wide-eyed freshman, but I was soon to grow jaded and cynical.
    • 1596, Thomas Nashe, Have with You to Saffron-Walden:
      When he was but yet a freshman in Cambridge.
    • 1611, Thomas Middleton, 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.
    • 2019 September 25, Geoffrey Kabaservice, “Impeach Trump? The United States is now in uncharted waters”, in The Guardian[1]:
      As a country, we now enter what the seven freshmen called “unchartered waters”, with an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis looming on the horizon.
    • January 7 2023, Lisa Mascaro, Farnoush Amiri, “McCarthy elected House speaker in rowdy post-midnight vote”, in AP News[2]:
      Trump may have played a role in swaying some holdouts — calling into a meeting of Republican freshmen the night before, and calling other members ahead of voting.
  2. (obsolete) A novice; one in the rudiments of knowledge.
    • 1619 August 6, James Howell, 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.


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