follow Dictionary.com

Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!

profess

[pruh-fes] /prəˈfɛs/
verb (used with object)
1.
to lay claim to, often insincerely; pretend to:
He professed extreme regret.
2.
to declare openly; announce or affirm; avow or acknowledge:
to profess one's satisfaction.
3.
to affirm faith in or allegiance to (a religion, God, etc.).
4.
to declare oneself skilled or expert in; claim to have knowledge of; make (a thing) one's profession or business.
5.
to teach as a professor:
She professes comparative literature.
6.
to receive or admit into a religious order.
verb (used without object)
7.
to make a profession, avowal, or declaration.
8.
to take the vows of a religious order.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English; back formation from professed
Related forms
preprofess, verb (used with object)
unprofessing, adjective
Synonyms
1. claim, allege, purport, avow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for pro fess

profess

/prəˈfɛs/
verb
1.
to affirm or announce (something, such as faith); acknowledge: to profess ignorance, to profess a belief in God
2.
(transitive) to claim (something, such as a feeling or skill, or to be or do something), often insincerely or falsely: to profess to be a skilled driver
3.
to receive or be received into a religious order, as by taking vows
Word Origin
C14: from Latin prōfitērī to confess openly, from pro-1 + fatērī to confess
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pro fess

profess

v.

early 14c., "to take a vow" (in a religious order), a back-formation from profession or else from Old French profes, from Medieval Latin professus "avowed," literally "having declared publicly," past participle of Latin profiteri "declare openly, testify voluntarily, acknowledge, make public statement of," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + fateri (past participle fassus) "acknowledge, confess," akin to fari "speak" (see fame (n.)). Meaning "declare openly" first recorded 1520s, "a direct borrowing of the sense from Latin" [Barnhart]. Related: Professed; professing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for profess

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pro

5
6
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pro fess