profound

adjective
pro·​found | \prə-ˈfau̇nd, prō-\

Definition of profound 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : having intellectual depth and insight

b : difficult to fathom or understand

2a : extending far below the surface

b : coming from, reaching to, or situated at a depth : deep-seated a profound sigh

3a : characterized by intensity of feeling or quality

b : all encompassing : complete profound sleep profound deafness

profound

noun
pro·​found | \prə-ˈfau̇nd, prō-\

Definition of profound (Entry 2 of 2)

archaic

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from profound

Adjective

profoundly \ prə-​ˈfau̇n(d)-​lē , prō-​ \ adverb
profoundness \ prə-​ˈfau̇n(d)-​nəs , prō-​ \ noun

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

On the other hand, the same force that makes an actual war between China and the U.S. unlikely — the profound interdependence of their national economies — also reduces the likelihood of an extended trade war. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "On Eve of Trade War, China Warns That Trump’s Tariffs Will Backfire," 5 July 2018 And having a nude photo shared would affect your life in profound ways. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Girl pressed for nude photo should wear T-shirt, instead," 14 June 2018 In this Pride Month, honoring the LGBT communities, messages about the profound ways in which politics and our personal lives connect seem especially relevant. David Zurawik, baltimoresun.com, "TV ad in governor's race and PBS film sound similar themes on gay life, love," 14 June 2018 Their discussion registered with Smith-Pelly, 25, in a profound way. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "A Hockey Nomad May Find a Permanent Home on the Stanley Cup," 5 June 2018 After surviving a gunshot wound to the back of the head during Friday's mass shooting at Santa Fe High School, Shubert is counting his blessings again, but in a much more profound way. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Santa Fe High School gunman shot him in the head — but he's 'completely okay' | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 19 May 2018 And then consider opportunities to positively impact a child in small but often profound ways. David G. Allan, CNN, "Mister Rogers, television's polite radical," 8 June 2018 For actively dying patients, even a temporary pause in the law could have a profound — and permanent — effect, Shavelson added. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "California aid-in-dying patients left in limbo after ruling," 5 June 2018 JEREMY EICHLER Maestros and their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting Leonard Bernstein protege John Mauceri draws on a lifetime of experience conducting across genres and venues to take us backstage in this engaging, funny, and profound book. Jeremy Eichler And Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "Summer reading for the ears," 21 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of profound

Adjective

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

Noun

1621, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for profound

Adjective

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

Noun

see profound entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about profound

Statistics for profound

Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for profound

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for profound

profound

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of profound

: having or showing great knowledge or understanding

: difficult to understand : requiring deep thought or wisdom

: very strongly felt

profound

adjective
pro·​found | \prə-ˈfau̇nd \

Kids Definition of profound

1 : having or showing great knowledge and understanding a profound thinker

2 : very deeply felt profound sorrow

Other Words from profound

profoundly adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on profound

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!