call·​ing | \ ˈkȯ-liŋ How to pronounce calling (audio) \

Definition of calling

1 : a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence
2 : the vocation or profession in which one customarily engages
3 : the characteristic cry of a female cat in heat also : the period of heat

Choose the Right Synonym for calling

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living. work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not. her work as a hospital volunteer employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer. your employment with this firm is hereby terminated occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training. his occupation as a trained auto mechanic calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. the ministry seemed my true calling pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest. her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted. acting was my one and only métier business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs. the business of managing a hotel

Examples of calling in a Sentence

He had always felt a calling to help others. He experienced a calling to enter the priesthood.
Recent Examples on the Web Campbell said his main motivation for taking over play-calling was to communicate directly with quarterback Jared Goff. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, 20 Nov. 2021 Baltimore’s play-calling and execution came under immense scrutiny during a loss to Miami. Adam Burke Vsin, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2021 As the Ravens prepare for Sunday’s game in Chicago, offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s play-calling will again come under scrutiny. Jonas Shaffer,, 15 Nov. 2021 This sequence three minutes before half tells why people question play-calling. Dave Hyde,, 12 Nov. 2021 What’s up with Stroud running, offensive play-calling and Ruggles’ routine? Nathan Baird, cleveland, 11 Nov. 2021 Barnhart, the second-longest tenured Reds player behind Joey Votto, is a two-time Gold Glove winner and played a big part in the pitching staff's success with his game-calling and ability to block pitches. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 3 Nov. 2021 Sister Rice was a leading figure among antiwar activists, especially the cohort of nuns and priests who saw protesting nuclear weapons as part of their religious calling. New York Times, 17 Oct. 2021 For Purnell, creating a world where such experiences occur is a calling. Kovie Biakolo, Essence, 5 Oct. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calling.' 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 calling

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for calling

Time Traveler

The first known use of calling was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near calling



calling card

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Statistics for calling

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Calling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for calling



English Language Learners Definition of calling

: a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work (such as religious work)
: the work that a person does or should be doing


call·​ing | \ ˈkȯ-liŋ How to pronounce calling (audio) \

Kids Definition of calling

: a profession especially that a person feels strongly about Teaching was his true calling.


call·​ing | \ ˈkȯ-liŋ How to pronounce calling (audio) \

Medical Definition of calling

: the characteristic cry of a female cat in heat also : the period of heat

More from Merriam-Webster on calling

Nglish: Translation of calling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of calling for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about calling


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