pro·​fess | \ prə-ˈfes How to pronounce profess (audio) , 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

Running for president used to involve a familiar routine, with potential candidates spending months publicly demurring about their ambitions and professing to be content in their current roles. Juana Summers, The Seattle Times, "Why wait? Democrats openly flirt with 2020 White House bids," 13 Nov. 2018 The key thing about these scams is that in both cases the snobby cultural elites who Trump professes to disdain didn’t lose anything. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The biggest lie Trump tells is that he’s kept his promises," 18 Oct. 2018 That’s a responsibility from which Facebook and other internet companies have shied, professing to be mere tools for their users to communicate with one another. Casey Newton, The Verge, "One way Twitter’s ad archive improves on Facebook’s," 3 Nov. 2018 In the caption, Khloé professed her love for Tristan in emoji form. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Definitive Timeline of Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson's Relationship," 21 Feb. 2019 Getty ImagesWPA Pool Prince Charles just recently professed a love for yoga, and HELLO! Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Wait, Is Meghan Markle Giving Her In-Laws the Inspiration to Do Yoga?," 18 Feb. 2019 Nevertheless, Young professed his love for Chicago as a city while speaking to a large contingent of reporters Friday. K.c. Johnson,, "NBA draft prospect Trae Young tries to bury bust-or-boom talk with buckets," 19 May 2018 The calls professed to offer vacation deals from major travel companies such as Expedia, Hilton, Marriott and TripAdvisor. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "FCC fines robocaller $120 million for making nearly 100 million calls," 11 May 2018 Yesterday, in honor of Grande's 25th birthday, Davidson took to Instagram to profess his love for the singer. Ruby Buddemeyer, Marie Claire, "'Queer Eye's Tan France Is Styling Pete Davidson for Pete's Wedding to Ariana Grande," 27 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

10 Apr 2019

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
old-fashioned : to believe in (a particular religion)


pro·​fess | \ prə-ˈfes How to pronounce profess (audio) \
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

Comments on profess

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having no equal

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