pur·​suit pər-ˈsüt How to pronounce pursuit (audio)
: the act of pursuing
: an activity that one engages in as a vocation, profession, or avocation : occupation
Choose the Right Synonym for pursuit

work, employment, occupation, calling, pursuit, métier, business mean a specific sustained activity engaged in especially in earning one's living.

work may apply to any purposeful activity whether remunerative or not.

her work as a hospital volunteer

employment implies work for which one has been engaged and is being paid by an employer.

your employment with this firm is hereby terminated

occupation implies work in which one engages regularly especially as a result of training.

his occupation as a trained auto mechanic

calling applies to an occupation viewed as a vocation or profession.

the ministry seemed my true calling

pursuit suggests a trade, profession, or avocation followed with zeal or steady interest.

her family considered medicine the only proper pursuit

métier implies a calling or pursuit for which one believes oneself to be especially fitted.

acting was my one and only métier

business suggests activity in commerce or the management of money and affairs.

the business of managing a hotel

Example Sentences

The hounds were running in the woods in pursuit of a fox. She enjoys reading, knitting, and other quiet pursuits.
Recent Examples on the Web Will this reliably Republican voting bloc stick with him in his third pursuit of the presidency? David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Nov. 2022 So, Robert Rivas stepped up his pursuit of the job. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 14 Nov. 2022 In her defense, Namor had just kidnapped Shuri during her pursuit of genius engineer Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), who created a machine that could detect vibranium and lead the surface world to his underwater kingdom. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 11 Nov. 2022 Relying on these findings, corporate entities invested heavily in the design of products, services and marketing campaigns that sought to maximize the efficiency and efficacy of their pursuit of children as profitable users. Nizan Geslevich Packin, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022 Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett thanked her and the family of the victims for their patience in their pursuit of justice. Simrin Singh, CBS News, 5 Nov. 2022 Sometimes the uninhibited pursuit of a flawed policy approach is the most surefire way to truly unveil that policy’s shortcomings. Blaise Malley, The New Republic, 4 Nov. 2022 Grier said the pursuit of another quarterback wasn’t a reflection on the team’s confidence in Tagovailoa. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 3 Nov. 2022 Perhaps the most enjoyable pursuit is the simplest one: lounging on the Great Porch. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 1 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pursuit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from Anglo-French pursute, from pursure

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pursuit was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near pursuit

Cite this Entry

“Pursuit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pursuit. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



pur·​suit pər-ˈsüt How to pronounce pursuit (audio)
: the act of pursuing
: an activity done especially for pleasure

More from Merriam-Webster on pursuit

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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