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.


  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.

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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