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90s Slang You Should Know


[pruh-fes-er] /prəˈfɛs ər/
a teacher of the highest academic rank in a college or university, who has been awarded the title Professor in a particular branch of learning; a full professor:
a professor of Spanish literature.
any teacher who has the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor.
a teacher.
an instructor in some art or skilled sport:
a professor of singing; a professor of boxing.
a person who professes his or her sentiments, beliefs, etc.
Origin of professor
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin prōfessor one who has taken the vows of a religious order, Latin: a public lecturer, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + -fet-, combining form of fatērī to acknowledge, declare + -tor -tor, with tt > ss
Related forms
[proh-fuh-sawr-ee-uh l, -sohr-, prof-uh-] /ˌproʊ fəˈsɔr i əl, -ˈsoʊr-, ˌprɒf ə-/ (Show IPA),
professorialism, noun
professorially, adverb
nonprofessorial, adjective
nonprofessorially, adverb
pseudoprofessorial, adjective
subprofessor, noun
unprofessorial, adjective
unprofessorially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for professor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • “I do not anticipate much difficulty as to that,” answered the professor.

    With Airship and Submarine Harry Collingwood
  • "We all heard the lecture of professor Giroud on board the ship," replied Louis.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • The professor had just met a woman wheeling a cat out in a baby-carriage.

    The Landloper Holman Day
  • "I will leave the professor to answer that question," replied the captain.

    Four Young Explorers Oliver Optic
  • Tibbitts and the professor had an awkward experience the first night they were in Paris.

    Nasby in Exile David R. Locke
British Dictionary definitions for professor


the principal lecturer or teacher in a field of learning at a university or college; a holder of a university chair
(mainly US & Canadian) any teacher in a university or college See also associate professor, assistant professor, full professor
a person who claims skill and instructs others in some sport, occupation, etc
a person who professes his opinions, beliefs, etc
Derived Forms
professorial (ˌprɒfɪˈsɔːrɪəl) adjective
professorially, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin: one who has made his profession in a religious order, from Latin: a public teacher; see profess
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for professor

late 14c., "one who teaches a branch of knowledge," from Old French professeur (14c.) and directly from Latin professor "person who professes to be an expert in some art or science; teacher of highest rank," agent noun from profiteri "lay claim to, declare openly" (see profess). As a title prefixed to a name, it dates from 1706. Short form prof is recorded from 1838.

Professor. One professing religion. This canting use of the word comes down from the Elizabethan period, but is obsolete in England. [Thornton, "American Glossary," 1912]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for professor



  1. An orchestra leader (1940s+)
  2. The piano player in a saloon, brothel, etc: the job of regular professor (1930s+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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