noun call·ing \ˈkȯ-liŋ\

Definition of calling

  1. 1 :  a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence

  2. 2 :  the vocation or profession in which one customarily engages

  3. 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.

14th Century

First Known Use of calling

14th century

Synonym Discussion of calling

work, labor, travail, toil, drudgery, grind mean activity involving effort or exertion. work may imply activity of body, of mind, of a machine, or of a natural force <too tired to do any work>. labor applies to physical or intellectual work involving great and often strenuous exertion <farmers demanding fair compensation for their labor>. travail is bookish for labor involving pain or suffering <years of travail were lost when the house burned>. toil implies prolonged and fatiguing labor <his lot would be years of back-breaking toil>. drudgery suggests dull and irksome labor <an editorial job with a good deal of drudgery>. grind implies labor exhausting to mind or body <the grind of the assembly line>.

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


noun call·ing \ˈkȯ-liŋ\

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


noun call·ing \ˈkȯ-liŋ\

Definition of calling for Students

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

Medical Dictionary


noun call·ing \ˈkȯ-liŋ\

Medical Definition of calling

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

Seen and Heard

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to search out and expose misconduct

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