vo·​ca·​tion | \ vō-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce vocation (audio) \

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 Club members, called Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build good will and peace in the world. cleveland, "Food for Families drive-through food pantry assists needy Rocky River area families: West Shore Chatter," 3 May 2020 Trump’s argument, injected into him by subordinates who understand that absurdity is his vocation, is essentially that the Constitution’s impeachment provisions are unconstitutional. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: The spiraling president adds self-impeachment to his repertoire," 13 Oct. 2019 The vocation has always come with financial uncertainty, but today’s acting community had been working in a flourishing landscape. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Even the Most Versatile Actors Can’t Find Work," 28 Mar. 2020 Uber and Lyft, for instance, have essentially destroyed taxi driving as a career, replacing the vocation with gig workers who often work at below living wages. Sonny Tai, Quartz at Work, "How to determine the social value of your startup," 2 Mar. 2020 Powell was an only child and found a vocation in watching his wife’s relations. Michael Gorra, WSJ, "‘Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time’ Review: Life’s Mysterious Patterned Way," 1 Nov. 2018 Your vocation is where your passion intersects with what the world needs. Plain Dealer Staff, cleveland, "Northeast Ohio women leaders offer tips on seizing opportunities, pursuing your dreams: Mentoring Monday," 20 Feb. 2020 With a stressful schedule that includes a daily radio show in addition to his seasonal basketball work, Valvano is mindful that his vocation and airline travel may not be conducive to his health. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "U of L radio analyst Bob Valvano doesn't have leukemia and can resume doing what he loves," 19 Feb. 2020 The Dakar is a nomadic race whose vocation is to explore the deserts in the world. Washington Post, "AP Photos: Navigating the desert in the Dakar Rally," 15 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for vocation

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vocation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vocation. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for vocation


How to pronounce vocation (audio)

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 How to pronounce vocation (audio) \

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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