calling

noun call·ing \ ˈkȯ-liŋ \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

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

Examples of calling in a Sentence

  1. He had always felt a calling to help others.

  2. He experienced a calling to enter the priesthood.

Recent Examples of calling from the Web

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.

First Known Use of calling

13th century

Synonym Discussion of 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


CALLING Defined for English Language Learners

calling

noun

Definition of calling for English Language Learners

  • : 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


CALLING Defined for Kids

calling

noun call·ing \ ˈkȯ-liŋ \

Definition of calling for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

calling

noun call·ing \ ˈkȯ-liŋ \

medical Definition of calling

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


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