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  1. a vocation requiring knowledge of some department of learning or science: the profession of teaching.Compare learned profession.
  2. any vocation or business.
  3. the body of persons engaged in an occupation or calling: to be respected by the medical profession.
  4. the act of professing; avowal; a declaration, whether true or false: professions of dedication.
  5. the declaration of belief in or acceptance of religion or a faith: the profession of Christianity.
  6. a religion or faith professed.
  7. the declaration made on entering into membership of a church or religious order.

Origin of profession

1175–1225; Middle English < Medieval Latin professiōn- (stem of professiō) the taking of the vows of a religious order. See professed, -ion
Related formspro·fes·sion·less, nounnon·pro·fes·sion, noun

Synonyms for profession

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Synonym study

1. See occupation. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for profession

Contemporary Examples of profession

Historical Examples of profession

  • Finally he disappeared, and, as it seems, embraced the profession of a sailor.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • This Niebuhr, who was a surveyor by profession, was a young man who deserves our admiration.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Mr. Wing is an American-born Chinese and practises the profession of a valet.

  • This profession of ours is a big one, but you know its jealousies.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • You belong to the profession, and know what would be the consequence if I did so.

British Dictionary definitions for profession


  1. an occupation requiring special training in the liberal arts or sciences, esp one of the three learned professions, law, theology, or medicine
  2. the body of people in such an occupation
  3. the act of professing; avowal; declaration
    1. Also called: profession of faitha declaration of faith in a religion, esp as made on entering the Church of that religion or an order belonging to it
    2. the faith or the religion that is the subject of such a declaration

Word Origin for profession

C13: from Medieval Latin professiō the taking of vows upon entering a religious order, from Latin: public acknowledgment; see profess
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 profession

c.1200, "vows taken upon entering a religious order," from Old French profession (12c.), from Latin professionem (nominative professio) "public declaration," from past participle stem of profiteri "declare openly" (see profess). Meaning "any solemn declaration" is from mid-14c. Meaning "occupation one professes to be skilled in" is from early 15c.; meaning "body of persons engaged in some occupation" is from 1610; as a euphemism for "prostitution" (e.g. oldest profession) it is recorded from 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper