The Abbreviation for Senior: What Is It and How Is It Used?

If you wish to find the English abbreviation for the word senior, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve provided a detailed overview that contains the meaning of the word, how it came into existence, what its common abbreviation is, when to use it, how to use it, and a few examples of the word in context.

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When to Use the Abbreviation

There is one common written abbreviation for the word senior in the English language:

  • Sr.


The abbreviation can be found in reference to an aging population, on items like membership cards and advertisements for senior discounts. It is also used to refer to students who are in their final years of high school or college. It’s commonly used as a name suffix, as well.

The word senior can be abbreviated to Sr. on a sign or an email signature, anywhere that space is limited. It is also common to see such abbreviations in headlines, newspaper titles, or texting when space is a concern.

What Does Senior Mean?

According to Dictionary.com, the definition of senior can be divided into two parts, since the word can be used as both an adjective and a noun. Let’s take a look at the some of the meanings of the word.

Adjective

older or elder (designating the older of two men bearing the same name, as a father whose son is named after him, often written as Sr. or sr. following the name)

of earlier appointment or admission, as to an office, status, or rank

of higher or the highest rank or standing

(in American schools, colleges, and universities) of or relating to students in their final year or to their class

(in certain American colleges and universities) of or relating to the final two years of education, during which a student specializes in a certain field of study.

of, for, or pertaining to a senior citizen or senior citizens as a group: 

of earlier date; prior to: 

Finance. having a claim on payments, assets, dividends, or the like prior to other creditors, mortgages, stockholders, etc.

Noun

a person who is older than another

a person of higher rank or standing than another, especially by virtue of longer service

(in the U.S.) a student in the final year at a high school, preparatory school, college, or university.

a fellow holding senior rank in a college at an English university.

a senior citizen.

(initial capital letter) a member of the Girl Scouts from 14 through 17 years of age.

Synonyms for Senior

Some of the synonyms of the word senior are as follows:

  • Elder
  • Leading
  • Chief
  • Major
  • Superior
  • Higher

The History of the Word

The adjective and noun form of the word senior have two separate origin stories. As per The Online Etymology Dictionary, here’s how the word came into being and evolved, with respect to its two different forms:

➢    As an Adjective: The word began being used in English in the late 13th century, and was taken from the Latin word senior, which means “older.” It was a comparative of senex (genitive senis), meaning “old.” The meaning “higher in rank” or “longer in service” was first recorded in the 1510’s. The original use in English indicated a man’s name, when the father and the son had the same name.

The Latin word yielded many new words and titles of respect in romance languages. For example, sire in French, señor in Spanish, senhor in Portuguese, and signor in Italian. Other English words that derived from senior include senate and senile. The phrase “senior citizen” was first recorded in the United States in 1938.

➢    As a Noun: First used in English in the mid-14th century, it meant “person of authority.”  By the late 14th century, it came to mean a “person older than another,” taken from its adjective form. The sense of a “fourth-year student” dates from 1741, from the earlier meaning “advanced student,” which entered common use in the 1610’s.

Examples of the Word and Abbreviation in Context

“Maine South High School senior Kate Stewart was one of three Maine Township High School District 207 students recognized by the school board in January as ‘207′s Best’ for academic achievement.” 
—The Chicago Tribune

“Plans to build a new Clay Township senior citizen housing development are in the works.”
—NBC 16

“Reporters will be allowed to photograph and video record each of Andrew Freund Sr.’s court appearances in the future, based on a December Illinois Supreme Court decision to approve extended media coverage at the McHenry County courthouse in Woodstock.”
—Northwest Herald

“Sorry, seniors: Southwest is doing away with its senior fare options.”
—USA Today

“Miami Carol City Sr. High School is located in Miami Gardens with about 1, 252 students enrolled in grades 9-12.”
—The Miami Times

Sources:

  1. https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=senior
  2. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/senior#
  3. https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/park-ridge/ct-prh-shout-out-tl-0123-20200117-5qffubklbvfplj6btibffjynka-story.html
  4. https://www.wndu.com/content/news/Senior-citizen-housing-development-in-the-works-567062211.html
  5. https://www.nwherald.com/2020/01/14/judge-allows-cameras-in-courtroom-for-andrew-freund-sr-s-case-marking-1st-case-in-mchenry-county/ayisp2z/
  6. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2019/10/11/southwest-airlines-eliminating-senior-discount-fare-options/3941719002/
  7. https://www.miamitimesonline.com/news/miami-carol-city-alumni-air-some-woes-and-some-wins/article_6d5a9392-379e-11ea-ae38-7707d6dc204d.html
  8. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/senior