Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

journeyman

play
noun jour·ney·man \-mən\

Simple Definition of journeyman

  • : a worker who learns a skill and then works for another person

  • : a worker, performer, or athlete who is experienced and good but not excellent

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of journeyman

  1. 1 :  a worker who has learned a trade and works for another person usually by the day

  2. 2 :  an experienced reliable worker, athlete, or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful <a good journeyman trumpeter — New Yorker> <a journeyman outfielder>

Did You Know?

The "journey" in journeyman refers to a sense of this familiar word not often used anymore: "a day's labor." This sense of journey was first used in the 14th century. When journeyman appeared the following century, it originally referred to a person who, having learned a handicraft or trade through an apprenticeship, worked for daily wages. In the 16th century, journeyman picked up a figurative (and mainly deprecatory) sense; namely, "one who drudges for another." These days, however, journeyman has little to do with drudgery, and lots to do with knowing a trade inside out.

Origin and Etymology of journeyman

Middle English, from journey journey, a day's labor + man


First Known Use: 15th century


JOURNEYMAN Defined for Kids

journeyman

play
noun jour·ney·man \ˈjər-nē-mən\

Definition of journeyman for Students

plural

journeymen

\-mən\
  1. :  a worker who has learned a trade and usually works for another person by the day




Learn More about journeyman


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up journeyman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take off or remove

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy philistine frenetic melancholy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ