Try Our Apps


The saddest words


[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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for professorial
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nor was he ever nurse to the professorial babies, which also has been often placed to his credit by imaginative story-tellers.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • The same king endowed three professorial chairs with ₱ 10,000 each.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • It is a nation of learned fools, none of whom ever sees an inch beyond his own professorial nose.'

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • We cannot think of Plato and Aristotle, save in professorial robes.

  • professorial chairs in anatomy or physiology at Wrzburg, at Giessen, and at Breslau, were offered him between 1850 and 1860.

    Makers of Modern Medicine James J. Walsh
British Dictionary definitions for professorial


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for professorial

1713, from professor + -ial.



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
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for professorial



  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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for professor

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for professorial

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for professorial