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 When a once-in-a-century pandemic exploded this past winter, Redfield, a devout Catholic, told friends that answering the crisis felt like his calling. USA Today, "How the CDC failed public health officials fighting the coronavirus," 11 Nov. 2020 But Folse, who worked as a welder and an A/C man in earlier chapters of his life, converted them by hand to fit his new calling. Ian Mcnulty | Staff Writer,, "On the ‘Andouille Trail,’ exploring a River Parishes obsession link by link," 9 Nov. 2020 After leaving his role of first selectman, Joseloff went back to his first calling, taking on the mantle of editor once again. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, "Gordon Joseloff, longtime CBS News journalist, dies at 75," 9 Nov. 2020 When the Portal first came out two years ago, the idea of a device dedicated solely to video calling was a little suspect. Adrienne So, Wired, "I Didn’t Want to Love Zooming on My Facebook Portal—but I Do," 25 Oct. 2020 For viewers at home, the display was unnerving -- the sitting president goading and talking over his rival, matched with a two-term former vice president reduced to name-calling. Justin Sink,, "Trump’s Bare-Knuckle Night With Biden Risks Repelling Key Voters," 30 Sep. 2020 During the Music City Bowl at the end of the 2018 season, Malzahn went into his closet and went backed to his signature vest look for the game against Purdue, which marked his full-time return to play-calling. Tom Green |, al, "Is Gus Malzahn’s Pat Dye look here to stay?," 29 Sep. 2020 Finally, one of the big black-and-whites succumbed to Froehlich's skilled calling and winged too close. Star Tribune, "Well-seasoned waterfowlers hit their marks," 5 Sep. 2020 And yet no one is going to get through to anyone else by resorting to name-calling or bullying. Laura Leigh Abby, Washington Post, "The pandemic has parents stressed out. Shaming one another on Facebook isn’t the answer.," 2 July 2020

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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Statistics for calling

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for calling


How to pronounce calling (audio)

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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