pro·​fes·​sion·​al·​ism | \ prə-ˈfesh-nə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce professionalism (audio) , -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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Ease Up on Formality With the personal and professional boundaries blurred because of the pandemic, many have reactively tried to barricade themselves with professionalism. Ksenya Samarskaya, Wired, "The Pandemic Holds These Keys to a Better Education," 17 Feb. 2021 The fashion and beauty industries, along with politics, have been on a mission to address hair discrimination after decades of outdated standards of professionalism. Michella Oré, Glamour, "The U.S. Army Is Updating Its Grooming Policy to Address Lack of Inclusion," 27 Jan. 2021 But Trump’s failures as a businessman are rivaled by the failure of American business writ large to live up to its own stated ideals of professionalism, whether of the older business statesmanship variety or the new social entrepreneurial one. Kyle Edward Williams, The New Republic, "The End of the Businessman President," 9 Dec. 2020 To do that speaks about his professionalism and his preparation. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons struggling to win, but young core shows promise when given the opportunity," 25 Jan. 2021 According to a source close to the production, Wilde and Styles haven't let their relationship affect their professionalism at work. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles Are Keeping Things Very Professional While They're at Work Together, Source Says," 23 Jan. 2021 All my professionalism from 50 years of photography kind of takes over. New York Times, "11 Journalists on Covering the Capitol Siege: ‘This Could Get Ugly’," 9 Jan. 2021 This chief has credibility many of his predecessors lacked, credibility that comes from his professionalism and, yes, his ethnicity. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: COVID restrictions in the metro and out, Minneapolis police reform," 21 Dec. 2020 Bears coaches have lauded Robinson for his professionalism for three seasons, and wide receivers coach Mike Furrey last month said that hasn’t changed this year. Colleen Kane,, "Allen Robinson explains his 3rd-down misstep and focuses on finishing the final 4 games of the season — and perhaps his Chicago Bears career — ‘as strong as I can’," 9 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of professionalism

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for professionalism

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The first known use of professionalism was in 1856

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Statistics for professionalism

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Professionalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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

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