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

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 The victims were all parishioners in the El Bosque community of Karadima, a charismatic preacher who was protected by the church hierarchy because of his ability to find priestly vocations among Chile’s wealthy, conservative elite. Washington Post, "Pope to host more Chile abuse victims, 5 of them priests," 22 May 2018 Brosnan got his start as a commercial artist, only to have acting get in the way and reduce his first vocation to an expansive hobby. Drew Magary, GQ, "Pierce Brosnan Has Found Beauty and Inspiration During Our Helltimes," 16 May 2018 Each year, a $1,000 scholarship is awarded to two deserving Farmington High School seniors who are pursuing a career in elementary education or a particular vocation, certificate or license program. Courant Community, "Community News For The Valley Edition," 2 July 2018 Is transcribing conversations for Siri, or annotating legal documents for a lawyer-bot, an honorable vocation? David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Why Facebook and Google should pay you for your data," 14 June 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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Phrases Related to vocation

miss one's vocation

Statistics for vocation

Last Updated

16 Sep 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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