Word of the Day : July 1, 2018

métier

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noun MET-yay

Definition

1 : vocation, trade

2 : an area of activity in which one excels : forte

Did You Know?

The words métier, employment, occupation, and calling all perform similar functions in English, though each word gets the job done in its own way. These hardworking synonyms can all refer to a specific sustained activity, especially an activity engaged in to earn a living, but these words also have slightly different shades of meaning. Employment implies simply that one was hired and is being paid by an employer, whereas occupation usually suggests special training, and calling generally applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession. Métier, a French borrowing acquired by English speakers in the 18th century, typically implies a calling for which one feels especially fitted.


Examples

"Instinctively, Winnie Mandela found her métier as a born politician, appearing in any troubled area to assure the populace that liberation was nigh." — The Daily Telegraph (London), 3 Apr. 2018

"'We're going to react to them and improvise,' says [Zeena] Parkins, a classically trained pianist from Detroit who found her métier in Manhattan's Lower East Side experimental music scene in the 1980s, when she electrified her harp to be heard amid the din of guitars and drums and other instruments." — Jesse Hamlin, The San Francisco Chronicle, 26 Apr. 2018



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