• synonyms


See more synonyms for professional on Thesaurus.com
  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.
  3. appropriate to a profession: professional objectivity.
  4. engaged in one of the learned professions: A lawyer is a professional person.
  5. following as a business an occupation ordinarily engaged in as a pastime: a professional golfer.
  6. making a business or constant practice of something not properly to be regarded as a business: “A salesman,” he said, “is a professional optimist.”
  7. undertaken or engaged in as a means of livelihood or for gain: professional baseball.
  8. of or for a professional person or his or her place of business or work: a professional apartment; professional equipment.
  9. done by a professional; expert: professional car repairs.
Show More
  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.
  3. an expert player, as of golf or tennis, serving as a teacher, consultant, performer, or contestant; pro.
  4. a person who is expert at his or her work: You can tell by her comments that this editor is a real professional.
Show More

Origin of professional

First recorded in 1740–50; profession + -al1
Related formspro·fes·sion·al·ly, adverbin·ter·pro·fes·sion·al, adjectivein·ter·pro·fes·sion·al·ly, adverbpseu·do·pro·fes·sion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for professional

experienced, skillful, licensed, efficient, qualified, competent, specialist, pro, expert, artist, ace, crackerjack, slick, adept, sharp, there, star, pundit, brain, wizard

Examples from the Web for professional

Contemporary Examples of professional

Historical Examples of professional

  • Robert, though not a professional fisherman, was not wholly inexperienced.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Excuse me, Mr. Vavasor, but how do you know I am not a professional singer?

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • I mean, how then do you know I am not a professional singer?

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • A professional would have been shocked by some of its appointments.

  • Now and then their professional discussions ended in something different.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for professional


  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
    1. extremely competent in a job, etc
    2. (of a piece of work or anything performed) produced with competence or skill
  3. undertaken or performed for gain or by people who are paid
Show More
  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
  3. a person who engages in an activity with great competence
  4. an expert player of a game who gives instruction, esp to members of a club by whom he is hired
Show More
Derived Formsprofessionally, 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

Word Origin and History for professional


early 15c., of religious orders; 1747 of careers (especially of the skilled or learned trades from c.1793); see profession. In sports, opposed to amateur, from 1846. Related: Professionally.

Show More

"one who does it for a living," 1798, from professional (adj.).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper