General English

  • adjective who is paid to play


  • adjective doing work for money


  • noun a skilled person or a person who does skilled work for money


  • noun a person who plays cricket as a profession rather than as a pastime; specifically, in the context of first-class cricket in Britain before 1963, a player in the paid employment of one of the counties as distinguished from the ‘amateurs’ who – officially at least – played without remuneration. People were already playing cricket as a profession by the second half of the 18th century, and the first encounter between the Gentlemen (amateurs) and Players (professionals) took place in 1806. The amateur/professional distinction became institutionalised in the English first-class game, as an extension of the overall class system. There were separate dressing rooms for the two types of player, and a typically British system of nomenclature that made everybody’s status quite clear (at least to anyone au fait with the code): thus, Surrey’s team in the 1950s included the amateurs P. B. H. May and R. Subba Row and the professionals Lock, G. A. R. and Laker, J. C. The distinction was marked, too, by ‘separate entrances to the field … separate travel, accommodation and dining arrangements, even separate tables and menus’ (Marqusee 1994). With the abolition of amateur status at the end of 1962 the term ‘professional’ lost its former social connotations. Now that all first-class cricketers are professionals, the word is perhaps most often used of those players – often overseas stars or former county players – who are employed in league cricket as the sole paid member of an otherwise amateur team.
    See also gentleman

Information & Library Science

  • adjective relating to work requiring a high level of training and done to a high standard
  • adjective done for money rather than as a hobby
  • noun a person who works in one of the professions


  • noun a person with special skills and qualifications in a particular subject


  • noun an expert player of a sport who is paid to teach other players in a club