See more synonyms for career on
  1. an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one's lifework: He sought a career as a lawyer.
  2. a person's progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking: His career as a soldier ended with the armistice.
  3. success in a profession, occupation, etc.
  4. a course, especially a swift one.
  5. speed, especially full speed: The horse stumbled in full career.
  6. Archaic. a charge at full speed.
verb (used without object)
  1. to run or move rapidly along; go at full speed.
  1. having or following a career; professional: a career diplomat.

Origin of career

1525–35; < Middle French carriere < Old Provençal carriera literally, road < Late Latin carrāria (via) vehicular (road), equivalent to Latin carr(us) wagon (see car1) + -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary
Can be confusedcareen career

Synonyms for career

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for career

course, race, orbit, passage, pilgrimage, progress, walk, procedure

Examples from the Web for career

Contemporary Examples of career

Historical Examples of career

  • We do not know how or why or when the human race began its career upon this Earth.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • From the beginning to the end of his career he was as much a lyric poet as a dramatist.

  • I like him; I should like him even if he were not an Earl—and his name a career.

  • No, so long as my sister has the career fever, I say law, every time.

  • But there was much in the career of the great Napoleon to inspire enthusiasm.

British Dictionary definitions for career


  1. a path or progress through life or history
  2. a profession or occupation chosen as one's life's work
  3. (modifier) having or following a career as specifieda career diplomat
  4. a course or path, esp a swift or headlong one
  1. (intr) to move swiftly along; rush in an uncontrolled way

Word Origin for career

C16: from French carrière, from Late Latin carrāria carriage road, from Latin carrus two-wheeled wagon, car
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for career

1530s, "a running (usually at full speed), a course" (especially of the sun, etc., across the sky), from Middle French carriere "road, racecourse" (16c.), from Old Provençal or Italian carriera, from Vulgar Latin *(via) cararia "carriage (road), track for wheeled vehicles," from Latin carrus "chariot" (see car). Sense of "course of a working life" first attested 1803.


1590s, "to charge at a tournament," from career (n.). The meaning "move rapidly, run at full speed" (1640s) is from the image of a horse "passing a career" on the jousting field, etc. Related: Careered; careering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with career


see checkered career.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.