Definition of career in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈrir/


1An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.
Example sentences
  • You should also contact your local careers office/centre for information and advice on careers and learning opportunities.
  • This could benefit the stream of outgoing students in their hunt for new careers and novel opportunities.
  • There are some careers where a significant surname is all you need - being an aristocrat, for example.
profession, occupation, job, vocation, calling, employment, line, line of work, walk of life, métier
1.1The time spent by a person while committed to a particular profession: the end of a distinguished career in the navy
More example sentences
  • After two careers spent battling each other in the top arenas of the world, this is the final showdown.
  • Peter had a distinguished career in the second world war, taking part in the Normandy invasion and serving in the Far East.
  • The two most prominent painters of this period, Adam Elsheimer and Johann Liss, both spent much of their careers outside Germany.
1.2The progress through history of an institution or organization: the court has had a checkered career
More example sentences
  • The men who thus set in motion the career of the court which is today celebrating its one hundred birthday were all immigrants.
  • We will, however, endeavor to portray with as much accuracy as possible the career of the organization.
  • Smith McNell's, the old down-town restaurant and hotel, will change hands shortly for the first time in its long career.
history, existence, life, course, passage, path
1.3 [as modifier] Working permanently in or committed to a particular profession: a career diplomat
More example sentences
  • The next layer down is the permanent career official who works within a government department and carries out government policies.
  • One of them is a marketing executive of a tobacco company and the other a career diplomat and former colleague of the PCB chief.
  • As a career diplomat, one might well expect him to tilt the British way.
professional, permanent, full-time
1.4 [as modifier] (Of a woman) pursuing a profession outside of the home.
Example sentences
  • When Barbie was in her prime, girls were taught to be career women, to be men's equals.
  • There's the victim, and the schemer, the Connecticut white lady, and the career girl.
  • She comes across as very different from the stereotypes of the bitter single career woman or the strident female in power.


[no object]
Move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specified direction: the car careered across the road and went through a hedge
More example sentences
  • However the longer route has to be taken as they won't fit down the side of the house this way, so it's out through one gate and in through another hoping not to meet a car careering down the road in the process.
  • He remembered the car careering off the road, ploughing through a hedge and rolling over a couple of times.
  • The car careered down the road and hit a chestnut tree head-on.


in full career

archaic At full speed.
Example sentences
  • At his heels follows the Dog, outstretched in full career.
  • The Indian again came in sight, and, in full career, rushed towards him, passed him, and wheeling halted his horse.
  • Such stoppers are invaluable, for without them it is not easy to stop a big full-rigged ship in full career without doing any damage or carrying something away.


Mid 16th century (denoting a road or racecourse): from French carrière, from Italian carriera, based on Latin carrus 'wheeled vehicle'.

  • The core idea behind the various meanings of career is that of progressing along a course of some kind. Based on Latin carrus, ‘wheeled vehicle’ ( see car), career was first used in English to mean both ‘a racecourse’ and ‘a short gallop at full speed, a charge’. From these developed the modern use, for the stages in a person's professional employment, the course of their working life. The verb use, ‘to rush headlong, to hurtle’, preserves the old sense.

Words that rhyme with career

adhere, Agadir, Anglosphere, appear, arrear, auctioneer, austere, balladeer, bandolier, Bashkir, beer, besmear, bier, blear, bombardier, brigadier, buccaneer, cameleer, cashier, cavalier, chandelier, charioteer, cheer, chevalier, chiffonier, clavier, clear, Coetzee, cohere, commandeer, conventioneer, Cordelier, corsetière, Crimea, dear, deer, diarrhoea (US diarrhea), domineer, Dorothea, drear, ear, electioneer, emir, endear, engineer, fear, fleer, Freer, fusilier, gadgeteer, Galatea, gazetteer, gear, gondolier, gonorrhoea (US gonorrhea), Greer, grenadier, hand-rear, hear, here, Hosea, idea, interfere, Izmir, jeer, Judaea, Kashmir, Keir, kir, Korea, Lear, leer, Maria, marketeer, Medea, Meir, Melilla, mere, Mia, Mir, mishear, mountaineer, muleteer, musketeer, mutineer, near, orienteer, pamphleteer, panacea, paneer, peer, persevere, pier, Pierre, pioneer, pistoleer, privateer, profiteer, puppeteer, racketeer, ratafia, rear, revere, rhea, rocketeer, Sapir, scrutineer, sear, seer, sere, severe, Shamir, shear, sheer, sincere, smear, sneer, sonneteer, souvenir, spear, sphere, steer, stere, summiteer, Tangier, tear, tier, Trier, Tyr, veer, veneer, Vere, Vermeer, vizier, volunteer, Wear, weir, we're, year, Zaïre

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ca·reer

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