av·​o·​ca·​tion | \ ˌa-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce avocation (audio) \

Definition of avocation

1 : a subordinate occupation pursued in addition to one's vocation especially for enjoyment : hobby He's a professional musician, but his avocation is photography. He had the restrained manners developed when tennis was the avocation of gentleman jocks …— Margo Jefferson
2 : customary employment : vocation 'My name is Riah,' said the old man, with courteous action, 'and my avocation is in London city.'— Charles Dickens
3 archaic : diversion, distraction

Examples of avocation in a Sentence

He breeds dogs as an avocation. My favorite avocation is reading.
Recent Examples on the Web These real-life adventure stories, and many more, are stored in the mental reelhouse of Tim Reid, a baseball historian by vocation and an Errol Flynn historian by avocation. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Nov. 2021 Peggy Atkins, who has been an avid gardener for many years, still taps into her avocation on her Lutherville townhouse patio. Nelson Coffin, baltimoresun.com, 26 Apr. 2021 Your mother can sunbathe resplendently and ponder her next avocation without lifting a finger. Sara Bosworth, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2021 Racing was primarily his wife’s interest and avocation. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2021 That avocation became his profession in the early 1960s when Mr. Fernandez, a graduate of Haaren High School in Manhattan, was laid off from his job as a crane operator at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which was being phased out. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2021 Finally, the chance to learn something new from a person with love and passion for her vocation and avocation is what community and recovery is all about. Michael Alpiner, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2021 Benson earns his living as a salesman for an employment screening firm, but hunting is his avocation. Philip Caputo, Field & Stream, 22 Nov. 2020 When the coronavirus pandemic hit hard and restaurants were shut down, waiter Julio Alvarado’s micro farming went from avocation to vocation in a matter of four months. Rod Stafford Hagwood, sun-sentinel.com, 24 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avocation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of avocation

circa 1617, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for avocation

Latin avocation-, avocatio, from avocare to call away, from ab- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at voice

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Time Traveler for avocation

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The first known use of avocation was circa 1617

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Dictionary Entries Near avocation

avocado toast



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Cite this Entry

“Avocation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avocation. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for avocation



English Language Learners Definition of avocation

: an activity that you do regularly for enjoyment rather than as a job : hobby


av·​o·​ca·​tion | \ ˌa-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce avocation (audio) \

Kids Definition of avocation

: an interest or activity that is not a regular job : hobby

More from Merriam-Webster on avocation

Nglish: Translation of avocation for Spanish Speakers


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