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 More Than A Vote, a voting rights group organized by professional athletes, partnered with Win Black to develop a rapid response campaign to combat misinformation that targets Black voters, reports CBS News campaign reporter Jack Turman. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "Obama hits the trail for Biden in Pennsylvania," 21 Oct. 2020 The suspension of professional sports leagues, cancellation of events like concerts and closure of movie theaters earlier this year reduced competition. Joe Flint And Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Netflix Subscriber Growth Slows Amid Heightened Competition," 20 Oct. 2020 My students are more consistently professional about school than my college cohort was, and also a lot more anxious. Carlo Rotella, Washington Post, "The Meaning of a College Literature Class — During a Pandemic and Always," 20 Oct. 2020 The national ferment over race has reached many American institutions, including professional sports leagues, major corporations and Hollywood. Amy Harmon, New York Times, "Fraternity That Reveres Robert E. Lee Faces Revolt Over Racism," 19 Oct. 2020 Many of the sports that schools are cutting, such as rowing, water polo and swimming, don't have professional leagues of the size or the resources of the NBA or major-league baseball for athletes to join once their collegiate careers are over. NBC News, "College sports cuts in the wake of Covid-19 are clouding the future of Olympics participation," 17 Oct. 2020 While Wagner excelled for a teenager in Germany's top professional league, college basketball featured a different pace and style of play. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's Franz Wagner knew last year would be slow. Now he's ready to roll," 13 Oct. 2020 In 2020, our professional basketball leagues became the best possible versions of American life. Star Tribune, "LeBron James is the greatest ... for these strange, polarized times (Breanna Stewart, too)," 13 Oct. 2020 To see more homes for sale from Ebby’s Little White House office, view open house information or contact an Ebby Halliday professional, visit littlewhitehouse.ebby.com. Dallas News, "Little White House office highlights four homes," 11 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The list includes former police officers, lawyers, a medical professional, a former high school football star, businessmen and probation officers. Cincinnati Enquirer Staff, The Enquirer, "Portsmouth lawyer Michael Mearan arrested on human trafficking charges," 23 Oct. 2020 Then Chris Harrison, not a medical professional, shows up to deliver her test result. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelorette Season 16, Episode 1 Premiere Recap: All About Dale," 14 Oct. 2020 Community members and hospital associates are encouraged to nominate a medical professional who has demonstrated a special dedication and devotion to patients in a variety of ways. baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Business briefs: Dept. of Agriculture honors employees; Carroll Hospital names physician and provider of month," 9 Oct. 2020 Most Americans can get a medical professional on the phone in that time frame, but would likely be told to stay at home, take a fever-reducer like Tylenol, and monitor their breathing. USA Today, "Donald Trump's COVID-19 treatment is similar to the average American hospitalized with coronavirus. Only faster.," 6 Oct. 2020 So the hospital chief executive Vaishali Jadhav made the decision that no medical professional wants to make. Washington Post, "As coronavirus cases soar, India’s hospitals race to secure badly needed oxygen," 26 Sep. 2020 That will include the city hiring a full-time outreach worker and a medical professional to work between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to be part of the HOME team. San Diego Union-Tribune, "La Mesa moves forward with homeless outreach plan," 18 Sep. 2020 Not only was Popov buoyed by her trio of mini-tour victories but also from caddying this summer for fellow player and good friend Anne van Dam, a Dutch professional, in an L.P.G.A. event at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Bill Fields, New York Times, "After a Cinderella British Open Win, a New Star Adjusts to Golf’s Majors," 8 Oct. 2020 One junior professional who hadn’t heard from her boss in a while started checking in with him once a week. Alexandra Carter, NBC News, "How to claim a seat at the virtual table – including Zoom," 6 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler for professional

Time Traveler

The first known use of professional was in 1606

See more words from the same year

Statistics for professional

Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Professional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professional. Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for professional

professional

adjective
How to pronounce professional (audio)

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!