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
Full Definition of journeyman
1 : a worker who has learned a trade and works for another person usually by the day
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
Definition of journeyman for Students
: a worker who has learned a trade and usually works for another person by the day
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).