Definition of professional in English:



  • 1Relating to or belonging to a profession.

    ‘young professional people’
    • ‘Currently, some 1.2 million professional men and women belong to more than 29,600 clubs worldwide.’
    • ‘They are not professional singers and belonged to different fields.’
    • ‘Her voice was strong and clear, with a lilting quality to it that one might think belonged to a professional vocalist.’
    • ‘Ask if the company belongs to a professional pest control association.’
    • ‘But ultimately, the credit for the way he has dealt with his personal and professional problems belongs entirely to him.’
    • ‘They say that corporate America does not comprise a bunch of gangs, that professional people do not belong to gangs.’
    • ‘In our professional lives, we make choices about belonging to a professional association.’
    • ‘Of the professional organizations that I belong, it is the ASA that I call my academic home.’
    • ‘I belong to a professional association and we have a little get together once a month to chat and catch up, etc.’
    • ‘You should moreover bear in mind that your immediate senior managers at that time belonged to the same professional discipline as yourself.’
    white-collar, executive, non-manual
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    1. 1.1 Worthy of or appropriate to a professional person; competent, skilful, or assured.
      ‘his professional expertise’
      ‘their music is both memorable and professional’
      • ‘Expertise and professional competence in anything comes from time doing the work, either professionally or as a hobby.’
      • ‘Key objectives for our faculty are to obtain such recognition and ensure the highest professional standards of competence and ethical integrity.’
      • ‘An experienced guerilla fighter with a professional competence in civil engineering could think of a good deal more.’
      • ‘They were professional, competent, experienced commanders, and most spoke English.’
      • ‘This works to the advantage of clients and of the administration of justice. It also fosters professional competition.’
      • ‘As hunting success became an index of personal or professional worth, intense competition developed over the testimonials of prowess.’
      • ‘Do they just focus on professional reputation and managerial competence, as measured by endorsements?’
      • ‘He worked hard as attorney general to represent the state in a competent and professional manner.’
      • ‘The Greens have a pretty good website, with a competent and professional layout, and of course, a blog.’
      expert, accomplished, skilful, adept, masterly, masterful, excellent, fine, polished, finished, skilled, proficient, competent, capable, able, efficient, experienced, practised, trained, seasoned, slick, businesslike, deft, dexterous
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  • 2Engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as an amateur.

    ‘a professional boxer’
    • ‘He turned professional two years ago after reigning as Britain's amateur champion for four years from 1998 to 2002.’
    • ‘His decision has spread dismay in the amateur ranks, and his coach Joe Gallagher believes the Salford boxer might have turned professional too early.’
    • ‘The main character is a professional executioner, but he prefers to get drunk rather than perform his civic duties.’
    • ‘So, instead of pursuing his Olympic dream in the amateurs, Smith turned professional, in 1994.’
    • ‘Certainly, Tiger Woods seems happy with their services given that he's been with them since he turned professional.’
    • ‘Peter had been a professional boxer, and as an amateur had taken Jim Watt, who latterly would become the world lightweight champion, to the verge of defeat.’
    • ‘He switched to billiards and a few years ago turned professional.’
    • ‘He became an amateur boxer in 1932 and two years later turned professional.’
    • ‘Morgan was playing amateur golf in Somerset and the West until he turned professional last year.’
    • ‘Before long, he was playing the leads in Hamlet and Macbeth at Scottish Youth Theatre, then turned professional.’
    paid, salaried, non-amateur, full-time
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    1. 2.1derogatory, informal Habitually making a feature of a particular activity or attribute.
      ‘a professional gloom-monger’
      • ‘The main story mode has been revamped since 2003, and now features professional idiot Bam Margera.’
      • ‘And that is because no sooner are they announced than they provoke widespread fear and condemnation from an army of professional naysayers.’
      • ‘They do not want to spend their careers as professional naysayers, forever doing nothing.’
      • ‘He does still receive financial support from them (he's a "professional student") (read: ambitionless bum), and they're much more likely to be able to get my money for me than he is.’
      • ‘A professional northerner, the episodes she featured in seemed like a cross-promotion for spending winter in Blackpool.’


  • 1A person engaged or qualified in a profession.

    ‘professionals such as lawyers and surveyors’
    • ‘Psychologists are among the most qualified professionals to perform this assessment.’
    • ‘Qualified professionals with successful careers have high credit ratings and often get into trouble as well.’
    • ‘The Institute represents tax professionals such as lawyers, accountants and agents.’
    • ‘Qualified and caring professionals must now make that decision for them.’
    • ‘The course faculty has been drawn from a panel of highly qualified professionals working in the field.’
    • ‘A physician writes that an RN is the only professional qualified to lead nursing practice in the OR.’
    • ‘There are few qualified teachers or other professionals who are able to work on a semi-voluntary basis.’
    • ‘There is a demand in advanced countries and a shortage in the supply of qualified professionals.’
    • ‘With Shanghai's rapid economic growth, qualified professionals are much needed.’
    • ‘Many of them are qualified professionals: teachers, engineers, social workers.’
    white-collar worker, professional worker, office worker
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    1. 1.1 A person engaged in a specified activity, especially a sport, as a main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
      ‘his first season as a professional’
      • ‘‘For once I holed a few putts,’ said Fox as he celebrated his first victory as a professional.’
      • ‘Charles showed some talent on the rugby field before becoming a racing driver and feels that he would have become a professional in that sport if he had not given it up for racing.’
      • ‘But in actual terms he's only played as a professional for two seasons.’
      • ‘Its stars were by then highly paid professionals, touring the English-speaking world.’
      • ‘Seven other professional cyclists and seven professionals from other sports were also targeted.’
      • ‘His advice to you, apart from the actual playing of the game, but more about emerging as a young professional within the sport?’
      • ‘During the first six months of 2002, I won four tournaments, my first victories as a professional.’
      • ‘Pekerman was a journeyman professional whose playing career during the 1970s was cut short by a knee injury.’
      • ‘This will probably be my last year as a full-time professional.’
      • ‘His last club was Floriana, who play in the Maltese League where he was a full-time professional.’
      professional player, non-amateur, paid player
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    2. 1.2 A person competent or skilled in a particular activity.
      ‘she was a real professional on stage’
      • ‘It's about time we became real professionals and left the kiddy stuff to the high school actors.’
      • ‘Doc Carroll was a real gentleman and a true professional.’
      • ‘After about a week of sleeping in an alley you'll look and smell like a real professional.’
      • ‘ITV's top commentator Clive Tyldesley is an intelligent professional with a light touch and a rich humour.’
      • ‘That is hard to keep that tempo of operation up, even for a real professional.’
      • ‘It is the scissor work, above all, which separates the real professional from the novice.’
      • ‘So you're a real professional by now when it comes to these ordination ceremonies.’
      • ‘They can be real professionals and expose wrongdoing even if it involves their leaders.’
      • ‘Amazingly, by train and taxi, Abrams made the fight, the sign of a real professional.’
      • ‘He is a real professional, currently a senior executive at McGraw-Hill, a very close friend of mine.’
      expert, master, maestro, past master, trooper, adept, virtuoso, old hand, skilled person, authority
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