Word of the Day

Friday, September 03, 1999

métier

\met-YAY; MET-yay\ , noun;
1.
An occupation; a profession.
2.
An area in which one excels; an occupation for which one is especially well suited.
Quotes:
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
Origin:
Métier is from the French, ultimately from Latin ministerium, "service, ministry, employment," from minister, "a servant, a subordinate."
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