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professional (adj.)

mid-15c., profeshinalle, in reference to the profession of religious orders; see profession. By 1747 of careers, "pertaining to or appropriate to a profession or calling" (especially of the skilled or learned trades from c. 1793);  In sports and amusements, "undertaken or engaged in for money" (opposed to amateur), by 1846. Related: Professionally.

professional (n.)

"a professional person, one who follows a trade or occupation in a professional way," 1798, from professional (adj.).

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Definitions of professional from WordNet
1
professional (adj.)
engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or means of livelihood;
the professional man or woman possesses distinctive qualifications
a professional cook
professional actors and athletes
began her professional career after the Olympics
professional football
professional theater
professional (adj.)
of or relating to or suitable as a profession;
a professional field such as law
professional organizations
professional (adj.)
characteristic of or befitting a profession or one engaged in a profession;
professional ethics
professional conduct
a thoroughly professional performance
professional (adj.)
of or relating to a profession;
professional training
professional equipment for his new office
we need professional advice
2
professional (n.)
a person engaged in one of the learned professions;
Synonyms: professional person
professional (n.)
an authority qualified to teach apprentices;
Synonyms: master
professional (n.)
an athlete who plays for pay;
Synonyms: pro
From wordnet.princeton.edu