journeyman

noun jour·ney·man \ ˈjər-nē-mən \

Definition of journeyman

1 :a worker who has learned a trade and works for another person usually by the day
2 :an experienced reliable worker, athlete, or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful
  • a good journeyman trumpeter
  • New Yorker
  • a journeyman outfielder

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Recent Examples of journeyman from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'journeyman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The journey in journeyman refers to a sense of the familiar word not often used anymore: "a day's labor." This sense of journey was first used in the 14th century. When journeyman appeared the following century, it originally referred to a person who, having learned a handicraft or trade through an apprenticeship, worked for daily wages. In the 16th century, journeyman picked up a figurative (and mainly deprecatory) sense; namely, "one who drudges for another." These days, however, journeyman has little to do with drudgery, and lots to do with knowing a trade inside out.

Origin and Etymology of journeyman

Middle English, from journey journey, a day's labor + man


JOURNEYMAN Defined for English Language Learners

journeyman

noun

Definition of journeyman for English Language Learners

  • : a worker who learns a skill and then works for another person

  • : a worker, performer, or athlete who is experienced and good but not excellent


JOURNEYMAN Defined for Kids

journeyman

noun jour·ney·man \ ˈjər-nē-mən \

Definition of journeyman for Students

plural journeymen \-mən\
:a worker who has learned a trade and usually works for another person by the day

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