- an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework: He sought a career as a lawyer.
- a person’s progress or general course of action through life or through a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking: His career as a soldier ended with the armistice.
- success in a profession, occupation, etc.
- a course, especially a swift one.
- speed, especially full speed: The horse stumbled in full career.
- Archaic. a charge at full speed.
verb (used without object)
- to run or move rapidly along; go at full speed.
- having or following a career; professional: a career diplomat.
- a path or progress through life or history
- a profession or occupation chosen as one’s life’s work
- (modifier) having or following a career as specifieda career diplomat
- a course or path, esp a swift or headlong one
- (intr) to move swiftly along; rush in an uncontrolled way
1590s, “to charge at a tournament,” from career (n.). The meaning “move rapidly, run at full speed” (1640s) is from the image of a horse “passing a career” on the jousting field, etc. Related: Careered; careering.
1530s, “a running (usually at full speed), a course” (especially of the sun, etc., across the sky), from Middle French carriere “road, racecourse” (16c.), from Old Provençal or Italian carriera, from Vulgar Latin *(via) cararia “carriage (road), track for wheeled vehicles,” from Latin carrus “chariot” (see car). Sense of “course of a working life” first attested 1803.
see checkered career.