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journeyman

[jur-nee-muh n]
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noun, plural jour·ney·men.
  1. a person who has served an apprenticeship at a trade or handicraft and is certified to work at it assisting or under another person.
  2. any experienced, competent but routine worker or performer.
  3. a person hired to do work for another, usually for a day at a time.
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Origin of journeyman

1425–75; late Middle English journeman, equivalent to journee a day's work (see journey) + man man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for journeymen

Historical Examples

  • Of the three other corpses, two were journeymen hatters; the third was not identified.

    The Fortune of the Rougons

    Emile Zola

  • The journeymen were inquisitive where I had been, what sort of a country it was, and how I lik'd it.

  • Apprentices, journeymen and masters, we should suffer no more.

  • The journeymen were delighted to see him, and they were very inquisitive.

    The Printer Boy.

    William M. Thayer

  • He was too effeminate to control his journeymen, and his shop was not well ordered.

    Make or Break

    Oliver Optic


British Dictionary definitions for journeymen

journeyman

noun plural -men
  1. a craftsman, artisan, etc, who is qualified to work at his trade in the employment of another
  2. a competent workman
  3. (formerly) a worker hired on a daily wage
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Word Origin

C15: from journey (in obsolete sense: a day's work) + man
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 journeymen

journeyman

n.

"qualified worker at a craft or trade who works for wages for another" (a position between apprentice and master), early 15c., from journey (n.), preserving the etymological sense of the word, + man (n.). Figurative depricatory sense of "hireling, drudge" is from 1540s. Its American English colloquial shortening jour (adj.) is attested from 1835.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

journeymen in Culture

journeyman

A skilled artisan who works on hire for master artisans rather than for himself.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.