pro·​fess | \ prə-ˈfes, prō-\
professed; professing; professes

Definition of profess 

transitive verb

1 : to receive formally into a religious community following a novitiate by acceptance of the required vows
2a : 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
4a : 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

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Examples of profess in a Sentence

He professes confidence in his friend. They profess loyalty to the king.

Recent Examples on the Web

The videos, released by Linden Township police, show both Dykstra and his Uber driver, 47-year-old Brian Lutty, professing their innocence to police after the driver came to an abrupt stop in front of the township’s police headquarters. Rob Tornoe,, "Lenny Dykstra arrest video: 'Dude, I'm convicted felon, I can't own a firearm'," 13 June 2018 Trump has professed satisfaction with his lawyers before, prior to previous shake-ups. Chris Megerian,, "Trump is left with little legal help as Russia probe reaches a crucial phase," 25 Mar. 2018 But general manager John Dorsey is playing it close to the vest, so close that even coach Hue Jackson professes not to know whom Dorsey has in mind at No. 1. Ted Crow,, "Cleveland Browns, John Dorsey and not sleeping on No. 1 pick: Crowquill," 13 Apr. 2018 To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that Perhaps surprisingly, considering her immense online reach, Selena has previously professed to taking a very hands-off approach to her social media presence. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Instagram Queen Selena Gomez Just Hit a New Record on the App," 13 Sep. 2018 Jennings professes respect for the 718, but allows that his definition of a Porsche begins and ends with the 911. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "When Is a Porsche Not Really a Porsche?," 23 Jan. 2017 But asked about Julian Assange during a press gaggle last week, Trump professed ignorance about his work. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "The story Jerome Corsi is now telling about WikiLeaks is exceedingly hard to believe," 29 Nov. 2018 Incidentally, earlier this year, Zayn professed his love for Bollywood in an interview with Elle India. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Zayn Covered Beloved Bollywood Song "Allah Duhai Hai"," 20 Nov. 2018 Many of the Australian readers who responded to The Times’ questions professed their love for a tradition that goes hand in hand with voting: democracy sausages. Tacey Rychter, The Seattle Times, "Australia tells America: Here’s how to fix your voting system," 22 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of profess

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

History and Etymology for profess

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

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Statistics for profess

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for profess

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

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More Definitions for profess



English Language Learners Definition of profess

: to say or declare (something) openly

: to say that you are, do, or feel something when other people doubt what you say

: to believe in (a particular religion)


pro·​fess | \ prə-ˈfes \
professed; professing

Kids Definition of profess

1 : to declare openly He professed his love.
2 : pretend sense 2 She professed to be my friend.

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More from Merriam-Webster on profess

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with profess

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for profess

Spanish Central: Translation of profess

Nglish: Translation of profess for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of profess for Arabic Speakers

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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