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 — compare apprentice entry 1 sense 1b, master entry 1 sense 1c

2 : an experienced reliable worker, athlete, or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful a good journeyman trumpeterNew Yorker a journeyman outfielder

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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.

Examples of journeyman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Bradley Center electronics equipment will be used for training for apprentices and journeymen electricians, said Dean Warsh, business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494. James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Bucks' donations of Bradley Center equipment will help Habitat build new homes," 19 June 2018 That role has helped the young journeyman approach his development differently. Houston Chronicle, "Wizards guard Tim Frazier huge fan of Houston sports," 3 Apr. 2018 Forsberg, who has put up solid American Hockey League numbers, and Glass, a journeyman who made his NHL debut this year, have 31 career NHL games between them. Jimmy Hascup, USA TODAY, "Six people facing increased pressure in second half of NHL season," 17 Jan. 2018 Some teams are locking up young players to get them into their systems early, and some are on the other end of the spectrum, signing journeymen who might be able to log NBA minutes in emergency. Jeremy Woo,, "The G-League Showcase: 25 Early Observations from the Annual Event," 12 Jan. 2018 Miner, who skated brilliantly on Saturday but has had a journeyman career, finished sixth at Skate America in his only major international competition of the season. JerÉ Longman, New York Times, "Nathan Chen Leads Olympic Figure Skating Team; Ross Miner Is Bumped," 7 Jan. 2018 First base at Triple-A El Paso in 2017 was manned exclusively by minor league journeymen. Jeff Sanders,, "First basemen to watch in the Padres' farm system," 19 Sep. 2017 Usually, our classic Premier League players are journeymen, nomads who appear all over England’s top division, (mildly) liked by fans everywhere., "Pascal Chimbonda and 24 Other Classic Premier League Players You'd Forgotten: No. 13 – Sun Jihai," 31 May 2018 Two four-team competitions in Sacramento and Utah kicked off the week, but Vegas is the summer’s main event and provides a showcase for lottery picks, undrafted hopefuls and G League journeymen alike. Jeremy Woo,, "Lottery Picks, Key Returners and Summer League Storylines to Watch," 6 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of journeyman

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for journeyman

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

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for journeyman

The first known use of journeyman was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of journeyman

: 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


jour·ney·man | \ ˈjər-nē-mən \
plural journeymen\-mən \

Kids Definition of journeyman

: a worker who has learned a trade and usually works for another person by the day

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Spanish Central: Translation of journeyman

Nglish: Translation of journeyman for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about journeyman

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alleviating pain or harshness

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