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>
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
First Known Use: 15th century
JOURNEYMAN Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of journeyman for Students
: a worker who has learned a trade and usually works for another person by the day
Seen and Heard
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