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

Given how much China has benefited from the WTO, and the support Chinese leaders have long professed for the multilateral trade system, would China step in to save the WTO? Karen J. Alter, Washington Post, "Trump’s tariffs aren’t the biggest trade problem. Will China step up to protect the WTO?," 18 June 2018 Perry’s latest trip to see Bloom comes just days after Tuesday’s American Idol finale, where Perry gave fans an update on her relationship status while professing her love to Bachelorette star Becca Kufrin. Maria Pasquini,, "Katy Perry Makes Quick Trip to London to Show Sweet Support for Orlando Bloom," 26 May 2018 Between Justin Bieber professing his love for Hailey Baldwin on Instagram and Donald Trump selecting Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court appointee, the Bachelorette drama was really through the roof tonight! Rebecca Farley,, "The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 7 Recap: Becca Picks A Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018 The most memorable moment of this protest came after Cardiff's loss at Anfield in December where the fans stayed for about an hour after the final whistle, professing their love for Mackay and objecting to his potential removal as Cardiff manager., "From Hero to Villain to Hero Again: The Vincent Tan Journey," 8 July 2018 Even Mr Trump professed himself pleased, calling the summit wonderful and rating his relationships with other leaders as ten out of ten. The Economist, "Donald Trump lobs a grenade from afar into the G7," 10 June 2018 Michael Zegen plays a schoolteacher who wanders around wearing Trotsky’s hat, professing his love for Masha, who’s driven to drink. Gary Thompson,, "'The Seagull': New version of Chekhov's classic doesn't soar," 24 May 2018 Trump has long professed a special connection to Scotland, the land of his mother’s birth. NBC News, "Trump arrives in Scotland for quiet weekend of golf after tumultuous week on world stage," 14 July 2018 Showing Dickinson – a self-professed 'world-famous, and indeed legendary supermodel' – in the same event provides a stark counterpoint to GG’s anxiety and lack of experience. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ryan Seacrest Co. Look to Dismiss Janice Dickinson's Lawsuit Over Reality Show Cameo," 11 June 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

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on profess

What made you want to look up profess? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

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