1. [syn: avocation, by-line, hobby, pursuit, sideline, spare-time activity]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Avocation \Av`o*ca"tion\, n. [L. avocatio.]
1. A calling away; a diversion. [Obs. or Archaic]
Impulses to duty, and powerful avocations from sin.
2. That which calls one away from one's regular employment or
Heaven is his vocation, and therefore he counts
earthly employments avocations. --Fuller.
By the secular cares and avocations which accompany
marriage the clergy have been furnished with skill
in common life. --Atterbury.
Note: In this sense the word is applied to the smaller
affairs of life, or occasional calls which summon a
person to leave his ordinary or principal business.
Avocation (in the singular) for vocation is usually
avoided by good writers.
3. pl. 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. --Richardson.
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
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: an auxiliary activity [syn: avocation, by-line,
hobby, pursuit, sideline, spare-time activity]