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 Day 5 is 'Nia' (Purpose) To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness. Terri Huggins, Woman's Day, "The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa Give More Meaning to the Holiday," 12 Oct. 2020 Those guys see education as a vocation, and football was a launching pad for them, as well. Jim Derry, NOLA.com, "Ken Sears: 'I have loved football since I was a kid'," 30 Sep. 2020 Stanley had grown into a new vocation, that of mentor to younger writers. Adam Shatz, The New York Review of Books, "The Stanley Crouch I Knew," 29 Sep. 2020 Since its founding, the chapel’s vocation has been about both contemplation and action, tying back to the de Menils’ interest in human rights, religious freedom and spirituality. Sallie Lewis, WSJ, "Inside The Holy Restoration of Houston’s Rothko Chapel," 8 Sep. 2020 When the coronavirus pandemic hit hard and restaurants were shut down, waiter Julio Alvarado’s micro farming went from avocation to vocation in a matter of four months. Rod Stafford Hagwood, sun-sentinel.com, "Farmer grows crops in closet of his Coral Springs apartment," 24 Sep. 2020 Scholarships will be $1,431 and applicants must be 18 years of age or older, and must register or be registered at a college, university, vocation or trade school. Staff Reports, NOLA.com, "Voter empowerment forums, and more metro-area community news," 23 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, her father, a Freudian analyst, is disappointed by Sophie’s lack of interest in his vocation. Andrew Martin, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 15 Sep. 2020 Despite their differences, these essays come together to assert the value of the writer’s vocation. John Domini, Washington Post, "In ‘Not a Novel,’ Jenny Erpenbeck continues to evolve," 8 Sep. 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

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

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