1300-50;Middle English (in religious sense) < Medieval Latinprofess(us) (special use of Latinprofessus, past participle of profitērī to declare publicly, equivalent to pro-pro-1 + -fet-, combining form of fatērī to acknowledge + -tus past participle suffix, with tt > ss) + -ed2
verb (used with object)
to lay claim to, often insincerely; pretend to:
He professed extreme regret.
to declare openly; announce or affirm; avow or acknowledge:
to profess one's satisfaction.
to affirm faith in or allegiance to (a religion, God, etc.).
to declare oneself skilled or expert in; claim to have knowledge of; make (a thing) one's profession or business.
early 14c., "to take a vow" (in a religious order), from O.Fr. profes, from L. professus "having declared publicly," pp. of profitieri "declare openly," from pro- "forth" + fateri (pp. fassus) "acknowledge, confess." Meaning "declare openly" first recorded 1520s.