c.1200, "a defined course of traveling; one's path in life," from Old French journee "day's work or travel" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin diurnum "day," noun use of neuter of Latin diurnus "of one day" (see diurnal). Meaning "act of traveling by land or sea" is c.1300. In Middle English it also meant "a day" (c.1400); a day's work (mid-14c.); "distance traveled in one day" (mid-13c.), and as recently as Johnson (1755) the primary sense was still "the travel of a day."