• WordNet 3.6
    • n avocation an auxiliary activity
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Avocation A calling away; a diversion. "Impulses to duty, and powerful avocations from sin."
    • Avocation Pursuits; duties; affairs which occupy one's time; usual employment; vocation. "There are professions, among the men, no more favorable to these studies than the common avocations of women.""In a few hours, above thirty thousand men left his standard, and returned to their ordinary avocations .""An irregularity and instability of purpose, which makes them choose the wandering avocations of a shepherd, rather than the more fixed pursuits of agriculture."
    • Avocation That which calls one away from one's regular employment or vocation. "Heaven is his vocation, and therefore he counts earthly employments avocations .""By the secular cares and avocations which accompany marriage the clergy have been furnished with skill in common life."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n avocation The act of calling aside or diverting from some object or employment.
    • n avocation The authoritative removal of a case or process from an inferior to a superior court.
    • n avocation The state of being called, or of wandering aside or away; a diversion of the thoughts.
    • n avocation Hence—4. That which calls one away from one's proper business; a subordinate or occasional occupation; a diversion or distraction.
    • n avocation A person's regular business or occupation; vocation; calling.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Avocation a-vo-kā′shun formerly and properly, a diversion or distraction from one's regular employment—now, one's proper business = Vocation: business which calls for one's time and attention:
    • n Avocation a-vo-kā′shun (arch.) diversion of the thoughts from any employment: the calling of a case from an inferior to a superior court.
    • ***


  • Nelson Algren
    Nelson Algren
    “The avocation of assessing the failures of better men can be turned into a comfortable livelihood, providing you back it up with a Ph.D.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. avocatio,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Through Fr. from avocation-em, a calling away—ab, from, vocāre, to call.


In literature:

They were a gay group of men, and hospitality was their avocation.
"Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror" by Richard Linthicum
Clarkie Parker was in reality a barber by avocation.
"Penguin Persons & Peppermints" by Walter Prichard Eaton
But intrinsically it is about as profitable as more popular avocations.
"A Pessimist" by Robert Timsol
The inhabitants were about their ordinary avocations.
"The Trembling of a Leaf" by William Somerset Maugham
The great active avocations, all those that lead either to fame or fortune, are monopolized by men.
"Modern Women and What is Said of Them" by Anonymous
He bootlegged upon a larger scale than do most of those pursuing this precarious avocation.
"Sundry Accounts" by Irvin S. Cobb
The disappointed men will not work with their hands; they find their avocation in the plotting of sedition.
"A Tour of the Missions" by Augustus Hopkins Strong
It was no strange thing to find a woman performing certain domestic avocations before a pot of beer.
"Colorado Jim" by George Goodchild
These waters are infested with pirates, who ostensibly pursue the avocation of fishermen, until an opportunity opens to catch men.
"Kathay: A Cruise in the China Seas" by W. Hastings Macaulay
But he had any number of literary and other avocations or distractions.
"A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2" by George Saintsbury

In poetry:

I've been hunted like a panther into my mountain lair,
Anxiety and misery my grim companions there.
I've planted in the scrub, my boys, and fed on kangaroo,
And wound up my avocations by ten years on Cockatoo.
"The Murrumbidgee Shearer" by Anonymous Oceania

In news:

This question has been asked by many a passionate beer enthusiast dreaming of making an avocation a way of life.
A new hive in the sky above downtown Louisville keeps beekeeper Lani Basberg abuzz about her avocation.
Achaeologists Elaine Dorset, from left, Doug Wilson and Bob Cromwell were honored by the Oregon Archaeological Society for helping "avocational archaeologists" learn while pitching in with local excavations.
Designed for wireless and wired AV applications, the Emerge MPX1000 wireless high-definition media extender from Avocent Corp. Includes a transmitter and receiver, and supports computer graphics resolutions up to 1280x768.
Guessing what Bob Dylan might do next -- and pondering why he does what he does -- has been a time-consuming avocation for amateur Dylanologists for pretty much the entire half-century of his incomparably inscrutable career.
Guessing what Bob Dylan might do next - and pondering why he does what he does - has been a time-consuming avocation for amateur Dylanologists for pretty much the entire half-century of his incomparably inscrutable career.
Putting out fires is at the pinnacle of vocation, and volunteer avocation, both for its nobility and physical danger.
I've made a career out of carping about what an unsightly city we live in, and bitching about our hellish, nine-month-long summers has become my avocation.
Avocations become side businesses for entrepreneurs mixing work and pleasure.
Keeping chickens is becoming a more common avocation for suburbanites.
Georgetown composer and financier Flugelman finds mix of avocations a fine 'cocktail.
David Barrow, who mastered watch repair and home building — and many avocations, too — after a car crash at age 18 left him a paraplegic, died Monday in Advanced Specialty Hospital in Toledo.
Avocent Emerge MPX1000 Wireless VGA and Audio Module.
A new wireless VGA and audio module is available from Avocent.
Emerson and Avocent Corp.