pro·​fes·​sion·​al·​ism | \ prə-ˈfesh-nə-ˌli-zəm , -ˈfe-shə-nə-ˌli-\

Definition of professionalism

1 : the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person
2 : the following of a profession (such as athletics) for gain or livelihood

Examples of professionalism in a Sentence

For writers such as Alexander Pope and Samuel Johnson, struggling in the transition from the age of patronage to that of Grub Street professionalism, Shakespeare offered not only a body of poetic invention but also an inspirational career trajectory. — Jonathan Bate, Harper's, April 2007 In Washington, careerism has so trumped professionalism among political journalists as to render Alterman's ethical concerns almost quaint. — Gene Lyons, Harper's, October 2003 It is difficult not to contrast the professionalism of modestly paid firefighters and police doing their duty on September 11 with the secretive … behavior of six- and seven-figure accountants, lawyers, CEOs, bankers, and financial analysts who failed at their duty with Enron. — Bruce Nussbaum, Business Week, 28 Jan. 2002 A high level of professionalism is expected when working with clients. She is highly respected for her professionalism.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

And that spirit, professionalism, determination and resilience is powerful beyond measure. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Prince Harry's Powerful Speech at the Endeavour Awards," 11 Feb. 2019 Klopp also praised the professionalism of his side in their preparation for and during the game against Porto on Tuesday, and can now switch their focus to a huge clash on Saturday against Manchester United in the Premier League., "Jurgen Klopp Claims Liverpool 'Belong' In Champions League Quarter Finals After Porto Aggregate Win," 7 Mar. 2018 Promotional materials include testimonials from trainees lauding the informative courses and professionalism of instructors. Dennis Wagner, azcentral, "Arizona National Guard hired suspended doctor for training," 15 July 2015 The duo's primary trick involved creating legal packets with the names of seven legitimate criminal defense attorneys in South Florida and fabricating logos, cover letters and business envelopes to give them the appearance of professionalism. Jay Weaver, miamiherald, "Inmates liked being served these legal papers. They were soaked with synthetic pot.," 31 May 2018 In addition to painting a very narrow image of what constitutes professionalism, bans on facial hair pose medical risks for men who suffer from razor bumps and can alienate men who wear beards for religious reasons. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Why workplace bans on facial hair marginalize men of color," 28 Sep. 2018 Yet as Huntington’s book suggests, military professionalism could curb some of Trump’s worst abuses of power, as when Lt. Gary J. Bass, New York Times, "Should We Worry About Trump’s Fawning Admiration of the Military?," 29 June 2018 The school nurse stands alone with her knowledge, experience and professionalism ready to react when needed. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Holland Elementary nurse honored," 28 Apr. 2018 The family aims for something not always associated with medical marijuana: professionalism. The Washington Post,, "A family of doctors in Oregon and California helps reinvent medical marijuana," 15 Jan. 2018

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

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about professionalism

Share professionalism

Statistics for professionalism

Last Updated

20 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for professionalism

The first known use of professionalism was in 1856

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for professionalism



English Language Learners Definition of professionalism

: the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on professionalism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with professionalism

Spanish Central: Translation of professionalism

Nglish: Translation of professionalism for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about professionalism

Comments on professionalism

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


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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