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

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 Dmitrieva’s petition to stop the killings has attracted nearly two million signatories, including local soccer luminaries, and even earned her a meeting with Russia’s sports minister, who professed shock at the dogs’ treatment. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "How Russia Gave Itself a Facelift for the World Cup," 4 July 2018 This week, a 21-year-old woman who professes her love for everything bagels on dating sites: straight, 21, single, Upper East Side, intern. The Cut, "The Confident Intern Easing Into a New Relationship," 24 June 2018 Before reminding viewers that the collection will be available on May 13, Jenner professes her admiration for the people who do videos like this all the time. Marci Robin, Allure, "Kris Jenner Unboxes the Kris x Kylie Cosmetics Collection in Her First-Ever YouTube Video," 11 May 2018 The Cabinet and senior aides in turn misled the American people and the Congress by conveying the President's denials and professing their belief in the credibility of those denials. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "Brett Kavanaugh, Trump and what the Starr Report says about impeachment, annotated," 11 July 2018 The two men, who’ve known each other for years, are quick to profess mutual respect. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Alibaba v. Tencent: The Battle for Supremacy in China," 21 June 2018 Upon making the announcement, many took to Twitter to profess their excitement. Chris Ciaccia, Fox News, "Nintendo brings back NES Classic, social media goes nuts," 14 May 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

9 Oct 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).


not any or not one

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