Definition of profession in English:


Line breaks: pro|fes¦sion
Pronunciation: /prəˈfɛʃ(ə)n


  • 1A paid occupation, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification: his chosen profession of teaching a barrister by profession
    More example sentences
    • Meanwhile US hacks have convinced themselves that they're involved in a profession rather than a craft.
    • By profession he was a poet, and he'd appeared in Galway several times before - at poetry readings, unaccompanied by a band.
    • By profession I am a well-known book illustrator and artist.
    career, occupation, calling, vocation, line of work, line of employment, line, métier; business, trade, craft, walk of life, sphere; job, position; Scottish way
    informal racket
    archaic employ
  • 1.1 [treated as singular or plural] A body of people engaged in a particular profession: the legal profession has become increasingly business-conscious
    More example sentences
    • The Law Society of Alberta, the regulatory body for the legal profession, says no complaints have been filed as of yet against anyone.
    • The legal profession's peak body, the Law Council, called on judges to boycott the new regime.
    • That is a very proper process, as essentially this is the constitution of the legal profession in our nation.
  • 3A declaration of belief in a religion: [mass noun]: they were baptized on profession of faith
    More example sentences
    • Generally, chaplains of any faith can gain access to local religious leaders since religion and a profession of faith are the common bonds.
    • Having ‘God’ in it divides us and attempts to link patriotism to public professions of religious belief.
    • Living ‘by faith in’ suggests that faith is a profession to be asserted, a willed thing.
  • 3.1The declaration or vows made on entering a religious order.
    More example sentences
    • Ironically, religious profession and the renuncia could create an opportunity for women to administer property autonomously.
  • 3.2 [mass noun] The ceremony or fact of being professed in a religious order: after profession she taught in Maidenhead
    More example sentences
    • Also celebrating her 50th Anniversary of religious profession, Sister Edna O'Connor, a native of Irishtown.
    • At solemn profession, I placed my hands in those of my prioress, professing to live my vows usque ad mortem, until death.


the oldest profession

humorous The practice of working as a prostitute.
More example sentences
  • Yes, the oldest profession (even when it's called ‘escort’) is, ‘Society’ wise, not the most respected.
  • Even though love-at-work is as old as the world's oldest profession, the days of women being suspected of sleeping their way to the middle are not over.
  • It feels that the crackdown will drive prostitution and brothels even further underground, making the oldest profession even more dangerous for both the women and their punters.


Middle English (denoting the vow made on entering a religious order): via Old French from Latin professio(n-), from profiteri 'declare publicly' (see profess). sense 1 derives from the notion of an occupation that one ‘professes’ to be skilled in.

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