[ pruh-fesh-uh-nl ]
See synonyms for: professionalprofessionals on

  1. following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder.

  2. of, relating to, or connected with a profession: professional studies.

  1. appropriate to a profession: professional objectivity.

  2. engaged in one of the learned professions: A lawyer is a professional person.

  3. following as a business an occupation ordinarily engaged in as a pastime: a professional golfer.

  4. making a business or constant practice of something not properly to be regarded as a business: “A salesman,” he said, “is a professional optimist.”

  5. undertaken or engaged in as a means of livelihood or for gain: professional baseball.

  6. of or for a professional person or their place of business or work: a professional apartment; professional equipment.

  7. done by an expert: professional car repairs.

  1. a person who belongs to one of the professions, especially one of the learned professions.

  2. a person who earns a living in a sport or other occupation frequently engaged in by amateurs: a golf professional.

  1. an expert player, as of golf or tennis, serving as a teacher, consultant, performer, or contestant; pro.

  2. a person who is expert at some kind of work: You can tell by her comments that this editor is a real professional.

Origin of professional

First recorded in 1740–50; profession + -al1

Other words from professional

  • pro·fes·sion·al·ly, adverb
  • in·ter·pro·fes·sion·al, adjective
  • pseu·do·pro·fes·sion·al, adjective

Words Nearby professional Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use professional in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for professional


/ (prəˈfɛʃənəl) /

  1. of, relating to, suitable for, or engaged in as a profession

  2. engaging in an activity for gain or as a means of livelihood

    • extremely competent in a job, etc

    • (of a piece of work or anything performed) produced with competence or skill

  1. undertaken or performed for gain or by people who are paid

  1. a person who belongs to or engages in one of the professions

  2. a person who engages for his livelihood in some activity also pursued by amateurs

  1. a person who engages in an activity with great competence

  2. an expert player of a game who gives instruction, esp to members of a club by whom he is hired

Derived forms of professional

  • professionally, adverb

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