Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An occupation or career: "One of the highest compliments a child can pay a parent is to choose his or her profession” ( Joan Nathan).
  • n. An occupation, such as law, medicine, or engineering, that requires considerable training and specialized study.
  • n. The body of qualified persons in an occupation or field: members of the teaching profession.
  • n. An act or instance of professing; a declaration.
  • n. An avowal of faith or belief.
  • n. A faith or belief: believers of various professions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A promise or vow made on entering a religious order.
  • n. A declaration of belief, faith or of one's opinion.
  • n. An occupation, trade, craft, or activity in which one has a professed expertise in a particular area; a job, especially one requiring a high level of skill or training.
  • n. The practitioners of such an occupation collectively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of professing or claiming; open declaration; public avowal or acknowledgment
  • n. That which one professed; a declaration; an avowal; a claim.
  • n. That of which one professed knowledge; the occupation, if not mechanical, agricultural, or the like, to which one devotes one's self; the business which one professes to understand, and to follow for subsistence; calling; vocation; employment
  • n. The collective body of persons engaged in a calling.
  • n. The act of entering, or becoming a member of, a religious order.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of professing; open declaration; public avowal or acknowledgment of one's sentiments or belief.
  • n. That which is professed; a declaration; a representation or protestation; pretense; specifically, an open and formal avowal of Christian faith and purpose.
  • n. The calling or occupation which one professes to understand and to follow; vocation; specifically, a vocation in which a professed knowledge of some department of science or learning is used by its practical application to affairs of others, either in advising, guiding, or teaching them, or in serving their interests or welfare in the practice of an art founded on it.
  • n. The collective body of persons engaged in a calling: as, practices disgraceful to the profession; to be at the head of one's profession.
  • n. The act by which a novice enters into a religious order and takes its vows. In the Roman Catholic Church he or she must be at least sixteen years of age and must have completed a year of probation.
  • n. Character; nature.
  • n. Synonyms Vocation, Business, etc. See occupation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the body of people in a learned occupation
  • n. an open avowal (true or false) of some belief or opinion
  • n. affirmation of acceptance of some religion or faith
  • n. an occupation requiring special education (especially in the liberal arts or sciences)

Etymologies

From Anglo-Norman professioun, Old French profession ("declaration of faith, religious vows, occupation"), from Latin professiō ("avowal, public declaration"), from the participle stem of profitērī ("to profess"). (Wiktionary)

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