profound

adjective
pro·​found | \ prə-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce profound (audio) , 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 How to pronounce profound (audio) , 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 How to pronounce profoundly (audio) , prō-​ \ adverb
profoundness \ prə-​ˈfau̇n(d)-​nəs How to pronounce profoundness (audio) , prō-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for profound

Synonyms: Adjective

abstruse, arcane, deep, esoteric, hermetic (also hermetical), recondite

Antonyms: Adjective

shallow, superficial

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

They are left with only memories and the tumultuous emotions that accompany such a profound loss. Peggy O’hare, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio parents struggle with grief after son’s death in Iconic Village fire," 5 July 2019 While the Napoleonic Code aligned in some profound ways with the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, the man who found the crown of France lying in the gutter and picked it up with his sword was certainly no democrat. Justin D. Shapiro, National Review, "In Defense of Diplomacy with Despots, from 1776 to Today," 2 July 2019 Through her subversiveness and her anti-imperialist activism, Sylvia Pankhurst led a profound life much of it in service to Ethiopia. Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa, "The British suffragette who was crowned an “honorary” Ethiopian," 25 June 2019 When taken in nontrivial amounts, the mushrooms are powerful, temporarily changing consciousness in profound ways. Kevin Matthews, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Let’s talk magic mushrooms, Denver, now that they are decriminalized," 17 June 2019 Even deeper than our profound grief are our anger and our outrage at the monstrous violation of all human rights and decency responsible for it. AZCentral.com, "Don Bolles loses fight for life: Remembering the reporter with his 1976 obituary," 13 June 2019 But there is something profound and wide-reaching in that. Joe Fassler, The Atlantic, "Going Through Menopause With Guidance From a Whale," 18 June 2019 Current State Parks leadership has already taken the department a long way down that road, making some difficult but profound and necessary changes along the way. Michael Mantell, The Mercury News, "Opinion: State parks vision must look beyond expansion," 14 June 2019 Whitman and Melville were profound and original writers who revolutionized American literature. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019

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 and Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about profound

Statistics for profound

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce profound (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on profound

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with profound

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for profound

Spanish Central: Translation of profound

Nglish: Translation of profound for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of profound for Arabic Speakers

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

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!