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something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, especially for pleasure; hobby:
Our doctor’s avocation is painting.
a person’s regular occupation, calling, or vocation.
Archaic. diversion or distraction.
Contemporary Examples

He stammered, and read and wrote a lot of poetry (mostly in secret), an avocation he changed to photography for the novel.
Colm Toibin Describes The Creation Of His Quiet Masterpiece ‘Nora Webster’ Jennie Yabroff November 2, 2014

I think it was more a matter of self-consciousness… I always saw writing about music as purely an avocation.
Peter Guralnick: In Love With the Life of Music Ron Hogan March 28, 2014

Historical Examples

Because they serve for stages of faculty and avocation upon that biological gradient of Ascent by which we climb.
Feminism and Sex-Extinction Arabella Kenealy

Petrarca, in his avocation of barber, was in the greatest request.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845 Various

Sire,” said the noble Surgeon Larry to Napoleon, “it is my avocation to prolong life, and not to destroy it.
Martyria Augustus C. Hamlin

I would not like to hurt your feelings by calling your avocation a trade!
Crown and Anchor John Conroy Hutcheson

But it is the cause of a vast amount of misery amongst those who are compelled to seek a house close to their daily avocation.
Christmas Penny Readings George Manville Fenn

They were a gay group of men, and hospitality was their avocation.
Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror Richard Linthicum

They found Joe Sanders sitting on the doorstep, with the morose aspect of a man deprived of his avocation in life.
When ‘Bear Cat’ Went Dry Charles Neville Buck

Industry is diligence applied to some avocation, business, or profession.
English Synonyms and Antonyms James Champlin Fernald

(formal) a minor occupation undertaken as a diversion
(not standard) a person’s regular job or vocation

1520s, “a calling away from one’s occupation,” from Latin avocationem (nominative avocatio) “a calling away, distraction, diversion,” noun of action from past participle stem of avocare, from ab- “off, away from” (see ab-) + vocare “to call” (see voice (n.)).


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