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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for professionally

Contemporary Examples of professionally

Historical Examples of professionally

  • I stumbled on the case, and will do professionally all that is needed.

  • Neither was their personality stamped in any way, professionally, socially or racially.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • In the course of our conversation I happened to mention that I wrote, professionally.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • “You must have spent a good deal of time looking after men––professionally,” he said.

    The Greater Power

    Harold Bindloss

  • As far as I can remember he saw very little of Morrison professionally.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for professionally



of, relating to, suitable for, or engaged in as a profession
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
undertaken or performed for gain or by people who are paid


a person who belongs to or engages in one of the professions
a person who engages for his livelihood in some activity also pursued by amateurs
a person who engages in an activity with great competence
an expert player of a game who gives instruction, esp to members of a club by whom he is hired
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 professionally



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.



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper