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[av-uh-key-shuh n] /ˌæv əˈkeɪ ʃən/
something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, especially for pleasure; hobby:
Our doctor's avocation is painting.
a person's regular occupation, calling, or vocation.
Archaic. diversion or distraction.
Origin of avocation
1520-30; < Latin āvocātiōn- (stem of āvocātiō) a calling away. See a-4, vocation
Related forms
avocational, adjective
avocationally, adverb
Can be confused
avocation, vocation.
avocation, evocation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for avocation
  • There is no industry, profession or avocation which does not rely on the internet to gather or distribute data, or both.
  • At the time, basketball was an avocation, not a vocation.
  • It may lead to a career, sources of some articles, or just an avocation.
  • Energy conservation isn't just a project, but a lifelong avocation.
  • Even if music is not a student's professional objective, it satisfies an often important need for avocation.
  • The subject matter doesn't have to relate to your career -- it can be an avocation or a hobby you've mastered.
  • Treasure hunting is not an avocation without peril.
  • There wouldn't be enough housework to occupy all my time, so I could have an avocation.
  • Fashion is a hobby, an avocation, a statement of personality to the outside world.
  • My husband was a carpenter, too, although it was an avocation and not his work.
British Dictionary definitions for avocation


(formal) a minor occupation undertaken as a diversion
(not standard) a person's regular job or vocation
Word Origin
C17: from Latin āvocātiō a calling away, diversion from, from āvocāre to distract, from vocāre to call
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
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Word Origin and History for avocation

1520s, "a calling away from one's occupation," from Latin avocationem (nominative avocatio) "a calling away, distraction, diversion," noun of action from past participle stem of avocare, from ab- "off, away from" (see ab-) + vocare "to call" (see voice (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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