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

Hit the Links Whether a golf professional or novice, there's nothing more beautiful than soaking in the desert sun on the fairways. Charlotte Chilton, Town & Country, "What to Do on Your Next Trip to Palm Springs," 5 Mar. 2019 Chat about your diet and your baby's diet with your doctor, and be sure to bring up any and all concerns with a professional. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "The Best Breastfeeding Diet," 25 Feb. 2019 For the Kardashian sisters, fashion is pretty much a professional sport: Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe—not to mention Kendall and Kylie—have developed distinct personal styles that are ever-evolving and never boring. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West and Kourtney Kardashian Look More Alike Than Ever," 7 Feb. 2019 Securing the rights to some big-market team games in major professional sports — including the New York Yankees — would be a big step for Amazon in supplying subscribers with more live sports games. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Amazon reportedly bidding on multiple Fox sports channels," 20 Nov. 2018 Since early 2017, Colin has been a free agent and hasn't played professional football. Nicole Weaver, Teen Vogue, "Rihanna Reportedly Declined to Perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show to Support Colin Kaepernick," 19 Oct. 2018 After winning the final game of the 2017 season against the Miami Dolphins, and with an assist from Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals, the Bills made the playoffs last year, ending the longest professional sports playoff drought. Jennifer Williams, Fox News, "The Daily Spike: Meeting the Buffalo Bills' Kyle Williams (and going tailgating)," 21 Sep. 2018 In 2017, Luke Perry attended a professional wrestling match in Los Angeles to support the then-19-year-old Jack, per Yahoo! Katina Beniaris, Woman's Day, "Luke Perry's 21-Year-Old Son Is Now a Professional Wrestler," 28 Feb. 2019 Doug Gollan was under intense personal and professional pressure in January 2002. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Stories of IRL Eloise: People Who Live in Hotels," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This explosion in popularity is great for professionals in those fields, many of whom are independent practitioners. Caroline Rothstein, Marie Claire, "The Wellness Industry Isn't Making You Well," 1 Jan. 2019 Johnson’s answer to escalating medical costs is less regulation and even easing licensing requirement for medical professionals. Morgan Lee, The Seattle Times, "Libertarian says Trump, Democrats need a swing-vote senator," 9 Oct. 2018 In its relief from strict corporate codes and mandatory long hours, the freelance lifestyle promises a healthier work-life balance for Japanese professionals. Ellen Freeman, Curbed, "I lived in a Tokyo coworking space," 28 Sep. 2018 The conductor called out over the loudspeaker for medical professionals to help the man as the power to the train went down, knocking out the air conditioning and flush toilets, riders said. Fox News, "Red Sox fan electrocuted after trying to train surf from Yankee Stadium," 21 Sep. 2018 In a forthcoming documentary about the royal family, Prince Harry apparently speaks with a group of visitors from the Caribbean, who are taking part in a new scheme initiated by the Queen for hospitality professionals. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Just Said the Funniest Thing About 'Bumping' into Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace," 15 Sep. 2018 Feather Messing up your liner is par for the course, even for professionals. Devon Abelman, Allure, "13 Unexpected Ways to Wear Winged Eyeliner That Are Taking Over Instagram," 14 Sep. 2018 The Blade 15 is the best gaming laptop for professionals who want a gaming laptop for two reasons. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "The best gaming laptops you can buy right now," 13 July 2018 For wine professionals, tastings are more than a pastime. Valeriya Safronova, New York Times, "The Proof Is in Their Palates," 10 July 2018

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

Share professional

Statistics for professional

Last Updated

18 Mar 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

More from Merriam-Webster on professional

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with professional

Spanish Central: Translation of professional

Nglish: Translation of professional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of professional for Arabic Speakers

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

grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!