Etymology
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freshman (n.)

1550s, "newcomer, novice," from fresh (adj.1) in the sense "making one's first acquaintance, inexperienced" + man (n.). Sense of "university student in first year" is attested from 1590s. As an adjective by 1805. Freshwoman is from 1620s. Related: Freshmen; freshmanic, freshmanship, freshmanhood.

updated on January 07, 2015

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Definitions of freshman from WordNet
1
freshman (n.)
a first-year undergraduate;
Synonyms: fresher
freshman (n.)
any new participant in some activity;
Synonyms: newcomer / fledgling / fledgeling / starter / neophyte / newbie / entrant
2
freshman (adj.)
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
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.