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 Most medieval people could neither read nor write, but women of high rank or religious vocation were often well-educated, from Marie de France in the 12th century to Teresa of Avila in the 16th. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 1 Oct. 2021 One of the clinic mentors, Jordan Gooding of G2 Coastal YouTube channel, was in law enforcement for 10 years before deciding to make surf fishing his new vocation. Frank Sargeant, al, 19 Sep. 2021 Guyton began pursuing music as a full-time vocation in 2011, signing a deal with Capitol Nashville that year. Maura Johnston, EW.com, 23 Sep. 2021 Like doctors actively ending life, this seems so contrary to the vocation of the midwife. Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review, 17 May 2021 Excel in a respectable, lucrative vocation — but don’t neglect the kids. Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2021 Reilly’s casual look is highlighted by a Tide racing t-shirt, which combines one of his interests, motorsports, with his former vocation, soap making. Chris Varias, The Enquirer, 5 June 2021 Correspondent Mo Rocca travels to Georgetown, Ky., to meet founder Michael Blowen, a former film critic whose love of horses drew him to gamble on a new vocation, which is paying out in unexpected ways. CBS News, 13 May 2021 Fishing has stuck with the Cuevas-Sánchez crew, and that is inspiring when your vocation and mission, like Ruiz's, are to expand opportunities for people who might miss out. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near vocation

vocal sac



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Last Updated

22 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vocation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vocation. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on vocation

Nglish: Translation of vocation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vocation for Arabic Speakers


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