adjective pro·found \ prə-ˈfau̇nd , prō- \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of profound

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


play \prə-ˈfau̇n(d)-lē, prō-\ adverb


play \prə-ˈfau̇n(d)-nəs, prō-\ noun

Examples of profound in a Sentence

  1. 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 ShenkAtlanticJune 2009
  2. 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 PiazzaWhy New Orleans Matters2005
  3. 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 LewisWhat Went Wrong?2002
  4. 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 AmisMemoirs1991
  5. His knowledge of history is profound.

  6. Her books offer profound insights into the true nature of courage.

  7. the profound mysteries of outer space

  8. a profound sense of loss

  9. His paintings have had a profound effect on her own work.

Recent Examples of profound from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of profound

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



noun pro·found \ prə-ˈfau̇nd , prō- \

Definition of profound

: something that is very deep; specifically : the depths of the sea

Origin and Etymology of profound

PROFOUND Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of profound for English Language Learners

  • : having or showing great knowledge or understanding

  • : difficult to understand : requiring deep thought or wisdom

  • : very strongly felt

PROFOUND Defined for Kids


adjective pro·found \ prə-ˈfau̇nd \

Definition of profound for Students

1 : having or showing great knowledge and understanding
  • a profound thinker
2 : very deeply felt
  • profound sorrow



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