pro·​fes·​sion | \ prə-ˈfe-shən How to pronounce profession (audio) \

Definition of profession

1 : the act of taking the vows of a religious community
2 : an act of openly declaring or publicly claiming a belief, faith, or opinion : protestation
3 : an avowed religious faith
4a : a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation
b : a principal calling, vocation, or employment
c : the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

Examples of profession in a Sentence

The doctor talked to students who are thinking about entering the profession. Most professions in the medical field require years of training. Their daughter recently became a member of the medical profession.
Recent Examples on the Web Some states want to change the requirements to attract more people to the nursing profession and keep those already there. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Even with all the difficulties inherent to the profession, Ms. Silva can’t see herself anywhere but on the sea. Eduardo Leal, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 May 2022 The association compiles its list based on money lost, lives affected, and relevance to the anti-fraud profession. Carrie Brandon Elliott, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 The pay raises and enhanced retirement are intended, in part, to attract more teachers to the profession and keep experienced teachers in Alabama classrooms. Mike Cason |, al, 4 Apr. 2022 Two of them received special awards for their contributions to the profession. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Apr. 2022 The Tar Heels were not rated higher because their coach, Hubert Davis, was new to the profession. New York Times, 28 Mar. 2022 And at the time, resurrectionists were body snatchers, people who would steal corpses from graveyards and sell them to the medical profession. Ben Trivett,, 11 Feb. 2022 For Davis, who is 23, her induction to the nursing profession coincided with the pandemic. Helena Oliviero, ajc, 29 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profession.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of profession

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for profession

Middle English professioun, from Anglo-French profession, from Late Latin & Latin; Late Latin profession-, professio, from Latin, public declaration, from profitēri

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The first known use of profession was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Profession.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for profession


pro·​fes·​sion | \ prə-ˈfe-shən How to pronounce profession (audio) \

Kids Definition of profession

1 : an occupation (as medicine, law, or teaching) that is not mechanical or agricultural and that requires special education
2 : an act of publicly declaring or claiming a profession of religious faith
3 : the people working in an occupation


pro·​fes·​sion | \ prə-ˈfesh-ən How to pronounce profession (audio) \

Medical Definition of profession

1 : a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation
2 : the whole body of persons engaged in a calling

More from Merriam-Webster on profession

Nglish: Translation of profession for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of profession for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about profession


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