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

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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

Further, the adoption of VoIP calling is another sign of Uber’s transformation into a global transformation service. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber rolls out new VoIP feature for riders and drivers to communicate through the app," 18 Oct. 2018 For the Sepulvedas, fostering feels like a calling, an extension of what drew them to nursing in the first place. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "Work Inspired These Nurses to Adopt Kids Whose Families Were Affected By Drugs," 30 May 2018 But career-wise, he was being pulled toward a different calling. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "He was a NASCAR pit crew member and a ‘Survivor.’ Now Chase Rice is where he belongs. | Charlotte Observer," 25 May 2018 Keiko, a Tokyo woman in her 30s, finds her calling as a checkout girl at a national convenience store chain called Smile Mart: Quirky Keiko, who has never fit in, can finally pretend to be a normal person. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "13 Books to Thrill, Entertain, and Sustain You This Summer," 30 May 2018 The former teacher has found her calling as a naturalist. Kitty Leshay, Courant Community, "Vernal Pools Bursting With Life," 8 May 2018 While fashion appears to be Carvalho's calling, the blogger has also dived head-first into the world of hair extensions (no pun intended). Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "10 Fashion Influencers Who Run Their Own Brands Like a Boss," 3 Jan. 2019 The case centered on a slice of taxes the state says Sprint failed to collect and pay for flat-rate calling plans between 2005 and May 2014. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "Sprint to Pay $330 Million to Settle N.Y. Tax Probe," 21 Dec. 2018 And while these play a role, research suggests there is a central, underlying theme that gets the psychological combustion started — a disconnect between one’s inner calling, talents or purpose and one’s external circumstances. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burnout reflects a conflict between our inner calling and what we have to do," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for calling

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for calling

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

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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

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Comments on calling

What made you want to look up calling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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