early 15c., of religious orders; 1747 of careers (especially of the skilled or learned trades from c. 1793); see profession. In sports, opposed to amateur, from 1846. Related: Professionally.
"one who does it for a living," 1798, from professional (adj.).
the professional man or woman possesses distinctive qualifications
a professional cook
professional actors and athletes
began her professional career after the Olympics
a professional field such as law
a thoroughly professional performance
professional equipment for his new office
we need professional advice