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

Nursing is now a frustrating, unhappy and unappreciated vocation. cleveland.com, "Dear Annie: Overworked nurses need a break, and our understanding," 16 Sep. 2019 More than ever she is drawn to her work, both vocation and avocation. David Shribman, Los Angeles Times, "Revered from left and right, she’ll soon be Canada’s longest-serving judge," 26 Aug. 2019 Jadali said the new vocation has so far cost him nearly $30,000 in personal expenses, since the research is not tied to his responsibilities at Host Duplex. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "My browser, the spy: How extensions slurped up browsing histories from 4M users," 18 July 2019 Still, the more scientific understanding of fire science has shifted firefighting from a vocation to a profession. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Fire Chief Chip Duncan to retire after 32 years serving Newport Beach," 12 July 2019 Lunn said teaching is a vocation forever etched into her life, and retirement is all about making the most of her new routine outside the classroom. Mel Jimenez, Houston Chronicle, "When it comes to retirement, it’s all about balance," 21 June 2019 In the long years of Nazi assault and occupation, resistance was often a lonely and certainly unrewarded vocation. Sonia Purnell, Twin Cities, "Sonia Purnell: What D-Day teaches us about the difficulty – and importance – of resistance," 6 June 2019 Crucially, though, Harbart doesn’t see his vocation as a fraud. John Domini, chicagotribune.com, "‘Harbat’: Speaking to the dead, the living — and now Americans, too," 7 Aug. 2019 Father David Garcia’s life and vocation have been all about relationships — and miracles large and small. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Father David’s role grew from San Antonio parish priest to major community leader," 8 July 2019

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

14 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for vocation

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

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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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