pur·​suit pər-ˈsüt How to pronounce pursuit (audio)
: the act of pursuing
: an activity that one engages in as a vocation, profession, or avocation : occupation
Choose the Right Synonym for pursuit

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living.

work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not.

her work as a hospital volunteer

employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer.

your employment with this firm is hereby terminated

occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training.

his occupation as a trained auto mechanic

calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession.

the ministry seemed my true calling

pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest.

her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit

métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted.

acting was my one and only métier

business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs.

the business of managing a hotel

Examples of pursuit in a Sentence

The hounds were running in the woods in pursuit of a fox. She enjoys reading, knitting, and other quiet pursuits.
Recent Examples on the Web In recent years, that pursuit has taken many remarkable turns and brought some of the most fruitful results of his career, including collaborations with such superb artists as Bill Frisell, Lucinda Williams, Gerald Clayton, and Zakir Hussain. Steve Hochman, SPIN, 15 Apr. 2024 There is also a dark side to this pursuit of perfection; namely, eating disorders and other health issues, both physical and emotional. Dana Taylor, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2024 He was spotted later in the Bronco with Cowlings, sparking a 60-mile (96-kilometer) police pursuit across Southern California. Ben Finley, Quartz, 13 Apr. 2024 After a short pursuit, the suspect vehicle stopped. Alex Sundby, CBS News, 12 Apr. 2024 The pursuit had 95 million television viewers, with nearly every TV network broadcasting the chase. The Enquirer, 12 Apr. 2024 Helicopters followed overhead as police chased the Bronco in a low-speed pursuit broadcast across the hectic Los Angeles area as Simpson reportedly held a gun to his head. Dakin Andone, CNN, 11 Apr. 2024 According to Van Patten, Temple, who served as Franklin’s private secretary in France, was interested in pursuits his grandfather may not have approved of. Vanessa Armstrong, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Apr. 2024 Deputies were called to the Hollenbeck Way home about 4:30 p.m. after the CHP vehicle pursuit ended there, with the suspect getting out of the vehicle and escaping into the nearby home, said Sgt. Rosalio Ahumada, Sacramento Bee, 3 Apr. 2024

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

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French pursute, from pursure

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pursuit was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pursuit

Cite this Entry

“Pursuit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pursuit. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


pur·​suit pər-ˈsüt How to pronounce pursuit (audio)
: the act of pursuing
: an activity done especially for pleasure

More from Merriam-Webster on pursuit

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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