pro·​fes·​sion | \ prə-ˈfe-shən How to pronounce profession (audio) \

Definition of profession

1 : the act of taking the vows of a religious community
2 : an act of openly declaring or publicly claiming a belief, faith, or opinion : protestation
3 : an avowed religious faith
4a : a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation
b : a principal calling, vocation, or employment
c : the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

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Examples of profession in a Sentence

The doctor talked to students who are thinking about entering the profession. Most professions in the medical field require years of training. Their daughter recently became a member of the medical profession.
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Recent Examples on the Web Mr Prieto is an orchestral conductor, a profession so rarefied that most major appointments require a lengthy and careful courting process. The Economist, "In the world of conducting, fortune favours the old," 2 Jan. 2020 The Resonance of History Himmelfarb’s approach to the contemporary relevance of historical inquiry was more or less a mirror image of the attitude that came increasingly to prevail in her profession over her decades of scholarship. Yuval Levin, National Review, "The Historian as Moralist," 31 Dec. 2019 Herman wrote in the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition, an optimistic composer at a time when others in his profession were exploring darker feelings and material. CBS News, ""Mame," "Hello, Dolly!" composer Jerry Herman has died at 88," 27 Dec. 2019 Shealy noted the state mandates more hours of training in her profession than what is required of magistrates. Joseph Cranney, ProPublica, "We Investigated Magistrates. Now, Lawmakers Want to Overhaul the System.," 11 Dec. 2019 No surprise, given her profession, but Parker lives in New York. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is 'Bachelor' Contestant Natasha Parker, a TV Producer?," 4 Dec. 2019 Kantor and Twohey—who had the daunting job of working from the outside in, breaching the dizzyingly insular, spin-happy entertainment industry—represent the best of our profession. National Geographic, "What comes to those who persist?," 4 Nov. 2019 Having led the Cardinals to 605 victories in 13 seasons and five trips to the College World Series, McDonnell undoubtedly deserves to be compensated near the peak of his profession. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "As revenue spikes, Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell fights for scholarship increase," 24 Oct. 2019 Fryer risked his career for the sake of his benighted profession and for everyone who was hurt by the pathologizing of their identities. Los Angeles Times, "Ain Gordon unmasks gay history in ‘217 Boxes of Dr. Henry Anonymous’," 13 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profession.' 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 profession

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for profession

Middle English professioun, from Anglo-French profession, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin profession-, professio, from Latin, public declaration, from profitēri

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Time Traveler for profession

Time Traveler

The first known use of profession was in the 13th century

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Statistics for profession

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Profession.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for profession


How to pronounce profession (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of profession

: a type of job that requires special education, training, or skill
: the people who work in a particular profession
formal : the act of declaring or saying something openly


pro·​fes·​sion | \ prə-ˈfe-shən How to pronounce profession (audio) \

Kids Definition of profession

1 : an occupation (as medicine, law, or teaching) that is not mechanical or agricultural and that requires special education
2 : an act of publicly declaring or claiming a profession of religious faith
3 : the people working in an occupation


pro·​fes·​sion | \ prə-ˈfesh-ən How to pronounce profession (audio) \

Medical Definition of profession

1 : a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation
2 : the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

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Comments on profession

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to insert between existing elements

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