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

Definition of professional in English:


1Relating to or belonging to a profession: young professional people
More example sentences
  • Currently, some 1.2 million professional men and women belong to more than 29,600 clubs worldwide.
  • But ultimately, the credit for the way he has dealt with his personal and professional problems belongs entirely to him.
  • They are not professional singers and belonged to different fields.
white-collar, executive, non-manual
1.1Worthy of or appropriate to a professional person; competent, skilful, or assured: his professional expertise their music is both memorable and professional
More example sentences
  • Expertise and professional competence in anything comes from time doing the work, either professionally or as a hobby.
  • They were professional, competent, experienced commanders, and most spoke English.
  • An experienced guerilla fighter with a professional competence in civil engineering could think of a good deal more.
expert, accomplished, skilful, adept, masterly, masterful, excellent, fine, polished, finished, skilled, proficient, competent, capable, able, efficient, experienced, practised, trained, seasoned, slick, businesslike, deft, dexterous
informal ace, crack, stellar, top-notch
2Engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as an amateur: a professional boxer
More example sentences
  • So, instead of pursuing his Olympic dream in the amateurs, Smith turned professional, in 1994.
  • His decision has spread dismay in the amateur ranks, and his coach Joe Gallagher believes the Salford boxer might have turned professional too early.
  • He turned professional two years ago after reigning as Britain's amateur champion for four years from 1998 to 2002.
paid, salaried, non-amateur, full-time
2.1 informal, derogatory Habitually making a feature of a particular activity or attribute: a professional gloom-monger
More example sentences
  • A professional northerner, the episodes she featured in seemed like a cross-promotion for spending winter in Blackpool.
  • The main story mode has been revamped since 2003, and now features professional idiot Bam Margera.
  • And that is because no sooner are they announced than they provoke widespread fear and condemnation from an army of professional naysayers.


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1A person engaged or qualified in a profession: professionals such as lawyers and surveyors
More example sentences
  • Many of them are qualified professionals: teachers, engineers, social workers.
  • There are few qualified teachers or other professionals who are able to work on a semi-voluntary basis.
  • Psychologists are among the most qualified professionals to perform this assessment.
white-collar worker, professional worker, office worker
1.1A person engaged in a specified activity, especially a sport, as a main paid occupation rather than as a pastime: his first season as a professional
More example sentences
  • Charles showed some talent on the rugby field before becoming a racing driver and feels that he would have become a professional in that sport if he had not given it up for racing.
  • His advice to you, apart from the actual playing of the game, but more about emerging as a young professional within the sport?
  • Seven other professional cyclists and seven professionals from other sports were also targeted.
professional player, non-amateur, paid player
informal pro
1.2A person competent or skilled in a particular activity: she was a real professional on stage
More example sentences
  • They can be real professionals and expose wrongdoing even if it involves their leaders.
  • He is a real professional, currently a senior executive at McGraw-Hill, a very close friend of mine.
  • Amazingly, by train and taxi, Abrams made the fight, the sign of a real professional.
expert, master, maestro, past master, trooper, adept, virtuoso, old hand, skilled person, authority
informal pro, ace, whizz, hotshot, ninja
British informal dab hand, wizard
North American informal maven, crackerjack
rare proficient

Words that rhyme with professional

confessional, congressional, expressional, impressional, obsessional, processional, progressional, recessional, secessional, sessional, successional
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