pro·​found | \ prə-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce profound (audio) , prō- \

Essential Meaning of profound

1 : having or showing great knowledge or understanding a profound thinker His knowledge of history is profound. Her books offer profound insights into the true nature of courage.
2 : difficult to understand : requiring deep thought or wisdom the profound mysteries of outer space profound questions
3 : very strongly felt profound sorrow a profound sense of loss

Full 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


pro·​found | \ prə-ˈfau̇nd How to pronounce profound (audio) , prō- \

Definition of profound (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from profound


profoundly \ prə-​ˈfau̇n(d)-​lē How to pronounce profound (audio) , prō-​ \ adverb
profoundness \ prə-​ˈfau̇n(d)-​nəs How to pronounce profound (audio) , prō-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for profound

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While both the Taliban and Islamic State adhere to a strict interpretation of Sunni Islam, the two groups have profound ideological differences and consider each other enemies. Margherita Stancati, WSJ, 15 Oct. 2021 Hours-long treks created large expanses of time for thoughts profound and petty. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 13 Oct. 2021 The trio’s discussion of death is profound and unorthodox, yet humor-filled as well. Harper's Magazine, 11 Oct. 2021 With results that range from the predictable to the semi-profound, Dickie’s story also aims to enhance our understanding of the values that Tony emulated, absorbed and acted upon until The Sopranos’ final, controversial cut-to-black. Jen Chaney, Vulture, 30 Sep. 2021 This is part of The Power of Us, a series running across Hearst Magazines that celebrates the deep and profound ways that Hispanic and Latinx culture has shaped America. Irina Gonzalez, Good Housekeeping, 30 Sep. 2021 To be clear, this solution isn’t for people with severe or profound hearing loss, for whom traditional hearing aids, with the essential involvement of an audiologist, remains the way to go. Micah Solomon, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 The reliance on freelancers may further sever relationships between employers and workers, leading to profound shifts in the labor market. Alexandre Tanzi,, 29 Sep. 2021 Unitarian Universalism is a profound and meaningful spiritual path. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of profound


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


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

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Time Traveler for profound

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near profound

pro forma invoice



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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Profound.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for profound


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

More from Merriam-Webster on profound

Nglish: Translation of profound for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of profound for Arabic Speakers


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