professional

adjective
pro·​fes·​sion·​al | \ prə-ˈfesh-nəl How to pronounce professional (audio) , -ˈfe-shə-nᵊl\

Definition of professional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
b : engaged in one of the learned professions
c(1) : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession
(2) : exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
2a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs a professional golfer
b : having a particular profession as a permanent career a professional soldier
c : engaged in by persons receiving financial return professional football
3 : following a line of conduct as though it were a profession a professional patriot

professional

noun

Definition of professional (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is professional especially : one that engages in a pursuit or activity professionally

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from professional

Adjective

professionally adverb

Examples of professional in a Sentence

Adjective

Do you have any professional experience? You should seek professional advice. a golfer who recently turned professional I was impressed by the calm and professional way she handled the crisis. The presentation was very professional.

Noun

The bathtub was installed by a professional. The tournament is open to both amateurs and professionals. a golfer who recently became a professional She handled the situation like a professional.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Becoming a soloist in a professional ballet company comes with a lot of sacrifice, a lot of hard work, but also a lot of personal growth. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "Harper Watters On Pride, Stonewall & How Dancing In Heels Kickstarted His Career," 8 June 2019 Last month, soccer’s governing body in Argentina confirmed its women’s league would turn fully professional, a seismic shift given that organizational difficulties had left Argentina’s national team essentially on hiatus not so long ago. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Women’s Soccer’s Big Moment, Big-Footed by Indifference and a ‘Clerical Error’," 7 June 2019 Woods joined The Republic in 2016 as one of that year's Pulliam fellows, the newspaper's longtime professional fellowship program. Shaun Mckinnon, azcentral, "Republic wins ProPublica grant-supported project to investigate Arizona tribal education," 7 June 2019 But in many ways, empathic individuals finish first: experiencing greater happiness, less stress and greater professional success. K.n.c., The Economist, "How to increase empathy and unite society," 7 June 2019 Players are on the cusp of realizing their lifelong dream of playing professional baseball. Steve Henson, latimes.com, "UCLA coach John Savage considers the MLB draft a headache," 6 June 2019 Hunter Hearn will have a shot at professional baseball. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Hearn drafted by Phillies after storied career at Crosby, Sam Houston," 5 June 2019 This week, with the MLB draft spanning Monday to Wednesday, hundreds of young players are set to join professional baseball. Jesse Dougherty, courant.com, "MLB, long expecting Latin players to learn English, is finally beginning to speak their language," 4 June 2019 Rutschman has a big future in professional baseball. oregonlive.com, "Adley Rutschman becomes the man of the moment, Pat Casey’s decision is TBA: Diamonds & Dust," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The wide range of freedom for employees attracts and helps retain high-performing professionals all the way from the top down. Jessica Levy, Indianapolis Star, "In a competitive job market, Williams Comfort Air stands out from the crowd," 7 June 2019 Landscape designers, professionals at a nursery and online resources can all help to create an attractive landscape that is fire safe. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Don’t let your landscaping become a fire risk," 7 June 2019 Dear Miss Manners: My friends and I, all professionals, have been meeting periodically for lunch for more than 20 years. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Separate checks at a long-standing lunch," 7 June 2019 Darlene Cook, a human resource professional from Little Elm, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 and again in 2015. Orla Mccaffrey, Dallas News, "Philanthropist Lyda Hill targets HPV with $4.6M donation to increase vaccinations," 6 June 2019 Many of those were working professionals who would benefit from the flexibility of off-campus programs. Matt Hamilton, latimes.com, "Online degrees made USC the world’s biggest social work school. Then things went terribly wrong," 6 June 2019 In one of the largest ever murder cases against a health care professional, a former doctor in Ohio is accused in the overdose killings of more than two dozen patients. CBS News, "Ohio doctor charged with 25 deaths allegedly ordered fentanyl doses up to 40 times too strong," 6 June 2019 More than 12,800 employees work for the agency, which has duties such as ensuring public health and regulating health care professionals. Christine Sexton, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida’s new health secretary will keep getting paid by the University of Florida, too.," 5 June 2019 The dental professionals at the Flagstaff event will use 50 dental chairs at NAU's Rolle Activity Center. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "Inaugural event will offer free dental care in Flagstaff this week, lineups expected," 5 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of professional

Adjective

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1811, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about professional

Statistics for professional

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for professional

The first known use of professional was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for professional

professional

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of professional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: relating to a job that requires special education, training, or skill
: done or given by a person who works in a particular profession
: paid to participate in a sport or activity

professional

noun

English Language Learners Definition of professional (Entry 2 of 2)

: someone who does a job that requires special training, education, or skill : someone who is a member of a profession
: someone who is paid to participate in a sport or activity
: someone who has a lot of experience or skill in a particular job or activity

professional

adjective
pro·​fes·​sion·​al | \ prə-ˈfe-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce professional (audio) \

Kids Definition of professional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to an occupation : of or as an expert professional advice
2 : taking part in an activity (as a sport) in order to make money
3 : participated in by people who are paid to compete professional sports
4 : having or showing a quality appropriate in a profession He did a very professional job.

Other Words from professional

professionally adverb

professional

noun

Kids Definition of professional (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a person who does a job that requires special education or skill
2 : a person who is paid to participate in a sport or activity

professional

adjective
pro·​fes·​sion·​al | \ prə-ˈfesh-nəl, -ən-ᵊl How to pronounce professional (audio) \

Medical Definition of professional

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession
2 : engaged in one of the learned professions
3 : characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession

Other Words from professional

professionally \ -​ē How to pronounce professionally (audio) \ adverb

professional

noun

Medical Definition of professional (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is professional especially : a person who engages in a pursuit or activity professionally

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on professional

What made you want to look up professional? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!