pro fess


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.
to teach as a professor: She professes comparative literature.
to receive or admit into a religious order.
verb (used without object)
to make a profession, avowal, or declaration.
to take the vows of a religious order.

1400–50; late Middle English; back formation from professed

preprofess, verb (used with object)
unprofessing, adjective

1. claim, allege, purport, avow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
profess (prəˈfɛs)
1.  to affirm or announce (something, such as faith); acknowledge: to profess ignorance; to profess a belief in God
2.  (tr) 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
[C14: from Latin prōfitērī to confess openly, from pro-1 + fatērī to confess]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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