A freshman is a student in her first year of high school or college. Being a college freshman can be a little overwhelming — it's a huge change in most people's lives.

Sometimes a freshman is called a "first-year student," a term that isn't so gender-specific. However, you can also use the word freshman for a a boy or a girl. Sometimes, rather than school, a freshman is new at something else: in the US Senate, first-timers are frequently called "freshman senators." The word combines the "inexperienced" sense of fresh with man, or "person."

Definitions of freshman
  1. noun
    a first-year undergraduate
    synonyms: fresher
    see moresee less
    type of:
    lowerclassman, underclassman
    an undergraduate who is not yet a senior
  2. noun
    a participant with no experience with an activity
    synonyms: entrant, fledgeling, fledgling, neophyte, newbie, newcomer, starter
    see moresee less
    enlistee, recruit
    any new member or supporter (as in the armed forces)
    type of:
    beginner, initiate, novice, tiro, tyro
    someone new to a field or activity
  3. adjective
    used of a person in the first year of an experience (especially in United States high school or college)
    “a freshman senator”
    freshman year in high school or college”
    synonyms: first-year
    preceding all others in time or space or degree
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month