vo·​ca·​tion | \vō-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of vocation 

1a : a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action especially : a divine call to the religious life

b : an entry into the priesthood or a religious order

2a : the work in which a person is employed : occupation

b : the persons engaged in a particular occupation

3 : the special function of an individual or group

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Examples of vocation in a Sentence

This isn't just a job for me; it's a vocation. people who follow a religious vocation He never felt a real sense of vocation. I'm a carpenter by vocation, but my hobby is painting.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The apparent rareness of his vocation tells us this is a world where widespread medicine doesn’t exist yet. Steven Strom, Ars Technica, "In Octopath Traveler, jobs define more than just gameplay mechanics," 22 Aug. 2018 Along with her fellow pioneer the director Dorothy Arzner—the only woman admitted to the Director’s Guild of America before her—Lupino was instrumental in proving that directing a picture didn’t have to be solely a male vocation. David Mermelstein, WSJ, "Celebrating a Film Pioneer at 100," 6 Nov. 2018 Soon, The Sims 4’s next expansion, Get Famous, will add a timely new vocation to the long-running life simulation game: the influencer. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "The Sims 4 will soon let you live out your influencer dreams," 18 Oct. 2018 Now the sport has become a vocation and that’s how athletes look at it. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "50 Years After Winning Olympic Gold, Madeline Manning Mims Reflects on Her History-Making Moment," 16 Oct. 2018 Karadima’s victims have accused Errazuriz of covering up their claims to protect Karadima, a darling of conservative Chilean Catholics whose ability to produce vocations endeared him to the church hierarchy. Washington Post, "Chile archbishop defends himself as pope’s summit opens," 15 May 2018 Cardi could be considered the figurehead of this era of rap as vocation rather than as creative pursuit. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” Is as Studious as It Is Bombastic," 27 Sep. 2017 This mismatch between her underlying vocation (healer) and her overarching job function (technician) is what fries her heart and soul. Philip Chard, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Burnout reflects a conflict between our inner calling and what we have to do," 13 July 2018 Relish the values: The vast majority of former caregivers will not make caregiving their new vocation. Barry J. Jacobs, sandiegouniontribune.com, "What to do when caregiving finally ends," 6 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vocation

Middle English vocacioun, from Anglo-French vocaciun, from Latin vocation-, vocatio summons, from vocare to call, from vox voice — more at voice

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Statistics for vocation

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for vocation

The first known use of vocation was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for vocation



English Language Learners Definition of vocation

: a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work (such as religious work)

: the work that a person does or should be doing


vo·​ca·​tion | \vō-ˈkā-shən \

Kids Definition of vocation

1 : a strong desire for a certain career or course of action It was her vocation to be an actress.

2 : the work in which a person is regularly employed : occupation

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More from Merriam-Webster on vocation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vocation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vocation

Spanish Central: Translation of vocation

Nglish: Translation of vocation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vocation for Arabic Speakers

Comments on vocation

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to enclose within walls

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