call·ing | \ ˈkȯ-liŋ \

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

The calling hours will begin at 10:30 at the Kensington Congregational Church., "Mary Jane Fletcher," 13 July 2018 The exhibits’ themes range from a 1924 poster representing the city’s first Sylvan Beach Beauty Pageant to a set of lady’s calling cards complete with case. Carissa D. Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "A quiet place to meet old La Porte," 10 July 2018 The exhibition is the work of an artist who has made fog her calling card. Graham Ambrose,, "‘Fog sculptures’ to adorn Emerald Necklace," 24 June 2018 Kit Harington’s signature hairstyle might not be his calling card for much longer. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Kit Harington Wants to Get a Haircut After Game of Thrones," 21 June 2018 When in the spotlight, poise, professionalism and a positive demeanor were his calling cards. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Kirk Cousins finally feeling the love in Minnesota but knows he must take loaded Vikings to next level," 12 June 2018 Though the graphic tee is her calling card, Sonya has been gradually expanding the world of Come Tees beyond the Gildan. Samuel Hine, GQ, "How “Come Tees” Went From Kanye Co-Sign to Fashion Cult Craze," 30 May 2018 Semper Fi is the calling card of the U.S. Marines and one man carries the motto with him. Georeen Tanner, Fox News, "Always Faithful: Marine raises thousands of dollars for vet he just met," 17 May 2018 The nearly blinding glow that's become her calling card isn't only due to the treatments, which emphasize novel if not tried-and-tested technologies, but also stem from her inside-out approach to complexion care. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Sydney's Favorite Facialist on the 6 Products She Swears By for Blindingly Good Skin," 15 May 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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Phrases Related to calling

miss one's calling

Statistics for calling

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

Kids Definition of calling

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


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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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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