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

Monet grew up here and painted in the open air with the older artist Eugène Boudin, so discovering his vocation for capturing light and atmosphere. National Geographic, "Step into Impressionist paintings on this French tour," 17 Apr. 2019 Clearly Jean’s vocation did well by her, as this garden is no small endeavor to tend. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Blundering Gardener: Highland Park gardener invites us into her own Shangri-la," 15 June 2019 His vocation as a teacher led to 38 years of dedicated service at Windsor Locks High School teaching English as well as heading the English Department for a number of years. courant.com, "Harold Robinson," 5 June 2019 San Patrignano is a groundbreaking drug rehabilitation center where young addicts are taught to fight substance abuse by learning a trade and seeking a vocation. Mario Calvo-platero, Town & Country, "This Renzo Mongiardino–Designed Home in Milan Has a Beautiful Secret," 16 May 2019 In keeping with her vocation, throughout the house McWilliams contrasted the period-perfect architecture with blue-chip contemporary art. Nancy Hass, ELLE Decor, "A Legendary 1920s Palm Beach House is a Showcase for a Striking Art Collection," 17 Apr. 2019 Hana’s grief over her father’s death earlier in the war; Caravaggio’s mourning for his lost vocation; Singh’s terrifying exploits with the bomb squad; the nameless patient’s pride in his memories of love. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 8 June 2018 One point that all sides in the debate seem to agree on is that the priesthood today is a disproportionately gay vocation. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "The Tense Debate Over Gay Priests," 17 Jan. 2019 Now, Lunardi bears the standard of a vocation that many diners these days have encountered only in movies. Dugan Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "The last maître d’ is here to serve you from a bygone time," 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

8 Jul 2019

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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 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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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

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food or victuals

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