pro·​fes·​sion·​al·​ize prə-ˈfesh-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce professionalize (audio)
professionalized; professionalizing

transitive verb

: to give a professional character to
prə-ˌfesh-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce professionalize (audio)

Examples of professionalize in a Sentence

The country is professionalizing the military.
Recent Examples on the Web Many of the issues with peer review can be addressed by professionalizing the field, either through official recognition or compensation. Jt Torres, The Conversation, 6 Feb. 2024 City voters in the March 5 election should professionalize the posts and move them into the 21st century by approving Measure A, regarding the city clerk, and Measure B, regarding the police chief. Mercury News Editorial, The Mercury News, 13 Jan. 2024 Rodger Fain, who became chief in 1980, is credited with professionalizing the force and ending the acceptance of gratuities. David Streitfeld, New York Times, 5 Oct. 2023 Previously having worked with teams of hundreds in other roles, Gullickson brought plenty of expertise that could potentially professionalize a smaller organization. Bruce Tulgan, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 In the interim, a crew of early women staffers had helped professionalize Rolling Stone through the mid-’70s, after senior editor and feminist Marianne Partridge brought six women to the masthead as copy editors and fact-checkers. Jenn Pelly, Pitchfork, 4 Oct. 2023 Their presence has professionalized a mom-and-pop sector. Ella Koeze, New York Times, 16 Sep. 2023 Iberdrola, an electric utility giant, and others stepped up with generous corporate support, a $10-million media-rights package was signed and the country’s women’s league was professionalized. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2023 Since then, however, the Ukrainian military has undergone major, albeit incomplete, reforms to professionalize its forces and modernize its military equipment. Margarita Konaev, Foreign Affairs, 28 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'professionalize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1856, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of professionalize was in 1856

Dictionary Entries Near professionalize

Cite this Entry

“Professionalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​fes·​sion·​al·​ize prə-ˈfesh-nəl-ˌīz How to pronounce professionalize (audio)
professionalized; professionalizing
: to give a professional nature to
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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