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

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Examples of avocation in a Sentence

He breeds dogs as an avocation. My favorite avocation is reading.
Recent Examples on the Web Benson earns his living as a salesman for an employment screening firm, but hunting is his avocation. Philip Caputo, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: The Old Man and the Mountains," 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, "Farmer grows crops in closet of his Coral Springs apartment," 24 Sep. 2020 Romance is promising, and a new avocation brings hours of pleasure. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 13 June 2020 Some of these half-dozen machines lean toward grand touring as a prime avocation. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, "Comparison Test: 1993 Toyota Supra Turbo Takes On the Best Sports Cars of the Early 1990s," 12 May 2020 When the family moved to Marshfield, boats and boating became father and son’s avocation. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "John R. Ulanowski, whose Scituate Yacht Co. was a port of call for buyers and owners, dies at 80," 18 July 2019 His avocation for landscape design and installation led to 10 years as a Landscape Construction Project Manager and Estimator for Four Seasons Landscaping in Windsor. courant.com, "Daniel H. Guilmartin," 17 Nov. 2019 And for many of the farmers, agriculture is a new vocation and avocation, rather than a family tradition dating back generations. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "After more than a century, agriculture is still alive in Boulder thanks to farm-to-table restaurants," 20 Oct. 2019 May Whittington was philosophical about her son’s avocation. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, "Ralph Whittington, erotica collector extraordinaire, dies at 74," 17 Aug. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of avocation was circa 1617

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Statistics for avocation

Last Updated

5 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Avocation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avocation. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for avocation


How to pronounce avocation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of avocation

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


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for avocation

Nglish: Translation of avocation for Spanish Speakers

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