adjective pro·found \prə-ˈfand, prō-\

: having or showing great knowledge or understanding

: difficult to understand : requiring deep thought or wisdom

: very strongly felt

Full Definition of PROFOUND

a :  having intellectual depth and insight
b :  difficult to fathom or understand
a :  extending far below the surface
b :  coming from, reaching to, or situated at a depth :  deep-seated <a profound sigh>
a :  characterized by intensity of feeling or quality
b :  all encompassing :  complete <profound sleep> <profound deafness>
pro·found·ly \-ˈfan(d)-lē\ adverb
pro·found·ness \-ˈfan(d)-nəs\ noun

Examples of PROFOUND

  1. His knowledge of history is profound.
  2. Her books offer profound insights into the true nature of courage.
  3. the profound mysteries of outer space
  4. a profound sense of loss
  5. His paintings have had a profound effect on her own work.
  6. Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study's longtime director, George Vaillant. —Joshua Wolf Shenk, Atlantic, June 2009

Origin of PROFOUND

Middle English, from Anglo-French parfunt, profond deep, from Latin profundus, from pro- before + fundus bottom — more at pro-, bottom
First Known Use: 14th century


noun pro·found \prə-ˈfand, prō-\

Definition of PROFOUND

:  something that is very deep; specifically :  the depths of the sea

Origin of PROFOUND

(see 1profound)
First Known Use: 1621
PROFOUNDNESS Defined for Kids


adjective pro·found \prə-ˈfand\

Definition of PROFOUND for Kids

:  having or showing great knowledge and understanding <a profound thinker>
:  very deeply felt <profound sorrow>
pro·found·ly adverb


Next Word in the Dictionary: profundaPrevious Word in the Dictionary: pro forma invoiceAll Words Near: profound
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears