Word of the Day Archive
Friday September 3, 1999
métier \met-YAY; MET-yay\
1. An occupation; a profession.
2. An area in which one excels; an occupation for which one is especially well suited.
The pairing of Maynard and Salinger -- the writer whose métier is autobiography and the writer who's so private he won't even publish -- was an unlikely one.
-- Larissa MacFarquhar, "The Cult of Joyce Maynard", New York Times Magazine, September 6, 1998
In Congress, I really found my métier. . . . I love to legislate.
-- Charles Schumer, quoted in "Upbeat Schumer Battles Poor Polls and Turnouts and His Own Image", New York Times, May 16, 1998
He is in the position of a good production engineer suddenly shunted into salesmanship. It is not his métier.
-- James R. Mursell, "The Reform of the Schools", The Atlantic, December 1939
Métier is from the French, ultimately from Latin ministerium, "service, ministry, employment," from minister, "a servant, a subordinate."