profess

verb

pro·​fess prə-ˈfes How to pronounce profess (audio)
prō-
professed; professing; professes

transitive verb

1
: to receive formally into a religious community following a novitiate by acceptance of the required vows
2
a
: to declare or admit openly or freely : affirm
b
: to declare in words or appearances only : pretend, claim
3
: to confess one's faith in or allegiance to
4
a
: to practice or claim to be versed in (a calling or profession)
b
: to teach as a professor

intransitive verb

1
: to make a profession or avowal
2
obsolete : to profess friendship

Examples of profess in a Sentence

He professes confidence in his friend. They profess loyalty to the king.
Recent Examples on the Web The girl's father, who previously professed his innocence in court, did not attend his trial and wasn’t present when jurors returned their verdict earlier this year, according to previous USA TODAY reporting. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 10 May 2024 Sabean and Monday’s other inductees professed gratitude for the Bay Area serving as a hospitable host en route to their awe-inspiring careers. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 6 May 2024 Falaschi and other employees professed their innocence, and in 2020 a judge dismissed some of the charges. Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2024 She is not injured, like the bespectacled hipster with his arm scaffolded in white gauze so that one hand is permanently pressed to his heart, as if professing his love or honesty. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 10 Apr. 2024 That’s not an easy trait to identify because every candidate will profess a willingness to listen and learn, which is why someone with ties to the region lowers the risk. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 20 Mar. 2024 Despite her doubts about whether Joey would choose her, Daisy professed her love for the first time during the night portion of their final date. Kimi Robinson, USA TODAY, 26 Mar. 2024 In posts that praised Nazis, denigrated racial minorities and professed the superiority of white people, pseudonymous Identity Evropa members spoke candidly about their goal of normalizing racist ideologies and infiltrating conservative politics. Brandy Zadrozny, NBC News, 13 Mar. 2024 Conversely, others professed admiration for cutting-edge hardware like the Oura ring, Eight Sleep, Apple Watch, lauding their capacity to monitor health metrics with precision. Kylie Robison, Fortune, 15 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'profess.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

in sense 1, from Middle English, from profes, adjective, having professed one's vows, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin professus, from Latin, past participle of profitēri to profess, confess, from pro- before + fatēri to acknowledge; in other senses, from Latin professus, past participle — more at confess

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of profess was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near profess

Cite this Entry

“Profess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profess. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

profess

verb
pro·​fess prə-ˈfes How to pronounce profess (audio)
1
: to declare openly or freely
profess confidence in a friend
2
: pretend entry 1 sense 1, claim
professed to be our friends

More from Merriam-Webster on profess

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!