av·​o·​ca·​tion ˌa-və-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce avocation (audio)
: 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
: customary employment : vocation
'My name is Riah,' said the old man, with courteous action, 'and my avocation is in London city.'Charles Dickens
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 Wine, however, was an avocation that eventually became part of his portfolio. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 18 June 2024 And the Romans had other, less-objectionable avocations. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 5 Mar. 2024 Today, cooking has become a major generational avocation and source of pride. Alexandra Moe, The Atlantic, 6 Dec. 2023 Carter’s new avocation as an end-of-life doula is an outgrowth of the more than 15 years the Detroit native has spent doing hospice work in her free time. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Sep. 2023 See all Example Sentences for avocation 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avocation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1617, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of avocation was circa 1617

Dictionary Entries Near avocation

Cite this Entry

“Avocation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avocation. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


av·​o·​ca·​tion ˌav-ə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce avocation (audio)
: customary employment : vocation
: an activity one engages in regularly for enjoyment rather than as a job : hobby

More from Merriam-Webster on avocation

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