Definition of journeyman in English:



  • 1A worker or sports player who is reliable but not outstanding.

    as modifier ‘a solid journeyman professional’
    • ‘He is a journeyman who played 28 games in his first three seasons and has a career scoring average of 7.5.’
    • ‘Any time Casey is out these days, the lineup becomes exceptionally weak, given all the rookies and journeymen in it.’
    • ‘Jean Robic, though, was a journeyman cyclist but showed great courage in making his dash for glory in the Tour de France of 1947.’
    • ‘The highly inexperienced bench, including three rookies and two journeymen, were the only major differences in Seattle's player personnel.’
    • ‘Now more famous as a broadcaster in his native Ireland, Dunphy began his professional life as a journeyman footballer.’
    • ‘These aren't necessarily the best prospects at their positions, but you won't find journeymen minor leaguers on the teams, either.’
    • ‘Playing for the worst team in the league means that journeymen sometimes get an unexpected trip to the midsummer classic.’
    • ‘Wright is a journeyman whose good stuff never has translated into big-league success.’
    • ‘One of the memorably named ball players of all time was the journeyman 1950s pitcher.’
    • ‘But for now, journeymen players and even certain stars would be wise to jump at their first acceptable offers.’
    • ‘Life in a football journeyman's house is not so straightforward.’
    • ‘The journeyman earned his temporary promotion to the Marlins with an outstanding slider that he honed in Calgary.’
    • ‘Sadly, most of the exalted class of 1990 have become journeyman club players, plying their trade in the lower leagues.’
    • ‘And while Alston is one of the league's nicest guys, he's a career journeyman at best.’
    • ‘Now the Jets are poised to move on with a rookie, a journeyman and an unknown.’
    • ‘This is excellent news if you're a good player, but not much use if you're a journeyman professional.’
    • ‘What's left is a collection of rookies and journeymen who haven't proved they can pressure an NFL quarterback.’
    • ‘Pekerman was a journeyman professional whose playing career during the 1970s was cut short by a knee injury.’
    • ‘Johnson is a solid journeyman type who played his way into the starting job over Tinsley a few weeks ago.’
    • ‘I was sort of a journeyman player, played as hard as I could, and was a reasonably intelligent player.’
    artisan, craftsperson, tradesman, tradesperson, mechanic, technician, operative, maker, smith, wright
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  • 2historical A trained worker who is employed by someone else.

    as modifier ‘a journeyman carpenter’
    ‘journeymen printers’
    • ‘He also worked as a journeyman carpenter on many major construction projects in western and northern Canada.’
    • ‘Moreover, the painter or sculptor of the unknown work was clearly alive in 1520 and employed a journeyman.’
    • ‘Perhaps it was made by a journeyman printer, who sold it on the market to earn a shilling?’
    • ‘At the end of their apprenticeships trainees became journeymen, fully skilled tradesmen.’
    • ‘They are the kind of journeymen he was used to working with at Coventry.’
    • ‘Now some masters became much wealthier than others, employing larger numbers of journeymen.’
    • ‘Moreover, many masters were reluctant to clamp down because in fact they themselves sometimes employed ‘rented’ labor alongside their journeymen and apprentices.’
    • ‘The summer after my sophomore year in college, and I decided, through no apparent logic, to try my hand as a journeyman roofer.’
    • ‘When asked how I would support myself in the US I told the Consulate staffer I was a journeyman carpenter.’
    • ‘‘These were my first steps in that field and I was working as a journeyman to gain enough experience and go ahead,’ he says.’
    • ‘It is known that Major Samuel Lawrence, for example, at times employed apprentice and journeymen shoemakers, so diversifying from purely agricultural production.’
    • ‘She looks at apprentices, journeymen carpenters, and entrepreneurs who erected, finished, and sold houses in dynamic and changing markets.’
    • ‘He joined a vocational training center for a nine-month course in carpentry skills and thereafter got employment as a journeyman with a local factory.’
    • ‘Once certified, master trainers are authorized to train appropriate journeymen to become certified craft instructors.’
    • ‘A young journeyman noticed Joe's dress change and nudged the apprentice next to him.’
    • ‘Those who wished it could get a journeyman to train them in the arts of weaponry; otherwise, they were taught how to fight by their Masters.’
    • ‘But Daley couldn't sustain his efforts, and never developed a permanent, salary-earning career as a journeyman writer.’
    • ‘On that day a twenty-three-year-old journeyman printer named Benjamin Day offered New Yorkers a paper called the Sun.’
    • ‘As commerce expanded and as trade conditions allowed, the masters trained apprentices and hired journeymen, always within the rules of the guilds they had created.’
    • ‘There was a time when proper vocational and journeyman training and workmanship standards were easily identified and understood.’
    employee, member of staff, working man, working woman, workman, labourer, hand, operative, operator
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Late Middle English: from journey (in the obsolete sense ‘day's work’) + man; so named because the journeyman was no longer bound by indentures but was paid by the day.