profound

1 of 2

adjective

pro·​found prə-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce profound (audio)
prō-
1
a
: having intellectual depth and insight
b
: difficult to fathom or understand
2
a
: extending far below the surface
b
: coming from, reaching to, or situated at a depth : deep-seated
a profound sigh
3
a
: characterized by intensity of feeling or quality
b
: all encompassing : complete
profound sleep
profound deafness
profoundly adverb
profoundness noun

profound

2 of 2

noun

pro·​found prə-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce profound (audio)
prō-
archaic
: something that is very deep
specifically : the depths of the sea

Examples of profound in a Sentence

Adjective Here, for the first time, a journalist gains access to the archive of one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies in history. Its contents, as much literature as science, offer profound insight into the human condition—and into the brilliant, complex mind of the study's longtime director, George Vaillant. Joshua Wolf Shenk, Atlantic, June 2009
This isn't escapism, or denial of grief; it is acceptance of the facts of life, the map of profound relationship to the grief that is part of life … Tom Piazza, Why New Orleans Matters, 2005
The status of women, though probably the most profound single difference between the two civilizations, attracted far less attention than such matters as guns, factories and parliaments. Bernard Lewis, What Went Wrong?, 2002
Despite all the respect, it was hard not to feel a twinge of schadenfreude at O'Hara's fall from esteem, which had caused him profound bitterness. Kingsley Amis, Memoirs, 1991
His knowledge of history is profound. Her books offer profound insights into the true nature of courage. the profound mysteries of outer space a profound sense of loss His paintings have had a profound effect on her own work. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The lessons are simple yet profound: Playing a game together to achieve mutual interests is better than playing exclusively with self-interest in mind. Kate Vitasek, The Conversation, 6 Feb. 2024 The restaurant receives a mysterious grant from a tech company promising to make their wildest business dreams come true, but there’s a hidden catch that raises profound questions about the nature of reality. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, 5 Feb. 2024 On one level, the choice that Biden faces seems profound: make this election about the nation’s continuing progress under his Administration, or about the destructive potential of a second Trump term. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 4 Feb. 2024 Empowering them to overcome their struggles, discover their strengths, and achieve personal growth brings a profound sense of fulfillment. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Feb. 2024 The third, and the one that has been credited with having the most profound effect this month, is the sudden and very real specter of punishment for excess. Rory Smith, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024 On the 13th, passionate action planet Mars enters Aquarius and invites us to take steps forward in a new and profound way. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Feb. 2024 The researchers initially saw a profound placebo effect: Patients seemed to improve whether their implants had been activated or not. Jyoti Madhusoodanan, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 Like Band of Brothers and The Pacific before it, the new series Masters of the Air is a profound act of devotion to the memory of the men who won World War II, this time focused on the air war in Europe. Rich Lowry, National Review, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'profound.' 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

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French parfunt, profond deep, from Latin profundus, from pro- before + fundus bottom — more at pro-, bottom

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

1621, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near profound

Cite this Entry

“Profound.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profound. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

profound

adjective
pro·​found
prə-ˈfau̇nd
1
: having or showing great knowledge or understanding
a profound thinker
2
: very deeply felt
profound sorrow
3
: absolute sense 1a, complete
a profound silence
profoundly
-ˈfau̇n-(d)lē
adverb
profoundness
-ˈfau̇n(d)-nəs
noun

More from Merriam-Webster on profound

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