calling 1 of 2


2 of 2


present participle of call
as in dialing
to make a telephone call to use this cell phone to call me if there's an emergency

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in crying
to utter one's distinctive animal sound the dog called whenever it flushed a quail

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

How does the noun calling differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of calling are business, employment, métier, occupation, pursuit, and work. While all these words mean "a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living," calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession.

the ministry seemed my true calling

Where would business be a reasonable alternative to calling?

While in some cases nearly identical to calling, business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs.

the business of managing a hotel

In what contexts can employment take the place of calling?

The words employment and calling can be used in similar contexts, but employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer.

your employment with this firm is hereby terminated

When might métier be a better fit than calling?

The synonyms métier and calling are sometimes interchangeable, but métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted.

acting was my one and only métier

When can occupation be used instead of calling?

The meanings of occupation and calling largely overlap; however, occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training.

his occupation as a trained auto mechanic

When is it sensible to use pursuit instead of calling?

Although the words pursuit and calling have much in common, pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest.

her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit

When would work be a good substitute for calling?

While the synonyms work and calling are close in meaning, work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not.

her work as a hospital volunteer

Thesaurus Entries Near calling

Cite this Entry

“Calling.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on calling

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