mé·​tier ˈme-ˌtyā How to pronounce métier (audio)
variants or less commonly metier
: vocation, trade
Journalism is her métier.
: an area of activity in which one excels : forte
Chess had become his métier.

Did you know?

The words métier, employment, occupation, and calling all perform similar functions in English, though each word gets the job done in its own way. These hardworking synonyms can all refer to a specific sustained activity, especially an activity engaged in to earn a living, but these words also have slightly different shades of meaning. Employment implies simply that one was hired and is being paid by an employer, whereas occupation usually suggests special training, and calling generally applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. Métier, a French borrowing acquired by English speakers in the 18th century, typically implies a calling for which one feels especially fitted.

Choose the Right Synonym for métier

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 métier in a Sentence

After trying several careers, she found her true métier in computer science. public speaking is not my métier, as others can attest
Recent Examples on the Web While both are masters of gem-setting and micro-horology, Piaget places a special emphasis on mixing gems with metiers, particularly inlay and marquetry using ornamental stones and exotic materials. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 5 July 2023 But the metier has opened up in other ways. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 11 July 2022 After realizing that acting was not for her, Linstead found her metier as a casting director and worked in an advertising company and at International Casting Services representing actresses. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 18 Aug. 2022 The short story is a cruel little metier and a poor choice for anyone hoping to conceal his or her faults as a writer. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2021 The pandemic intensifies the domesticity that is Wolitzer’s metier. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Sep. 2021 Her timing seemed strange to some, just as her metier was fading. The Economist, 20 June 2020 That the business of fashion was of great interest to Daves didn’t preclude her enjoyment of the metier. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 16 Dec. 2019 And ambiguous and withholdy endings are the metier of this show’s makers. Wired, 2 Dec. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'métier.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, going back to Old French mistier, mestier "divine service, function, duty, craft, profession" — more at mystery entry 2

First Known Use

1792, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of métier was in 1792


Dictionary Entries Near métier

Cite this Entry

“Métier.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/m%C3%A9tier. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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