Latin avocation-, avocatio, from avocare to call away, from ab- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice
- 1archaic : diversion, distraction
- 2: customary employment : vocation
- 3: a subordinate occupation pursued in addition to one's vocation especially for enjoyment : hobby
An avocation is an activity that one engages in as a hobby outside one's main occupation. There are many examples of people whose professions were the ways that they made their livings, but for whom their activities outside of their workplaces were their true passions in life. Occasionally, as with Lord Baden-Powell and others, a person who pursues an avocation is more remembered by history for their avocation than for their professional career.
Many times a person's regular vocation may lead to their avocation. Many forms of humanitarian campaigning, such as work for organizations such as Amnesty International and Greenpeace may be done by people involved in the law or human rights issues as part of their work..