[ pruh-fes ]
/ prəˈfɛs /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to make a profession, avowal, or declaration.
to take the vows of a religious order.

Origin of profess

1400–50; late Middle English; back formation from professed
Related formspre·pro·fess, verb (used with object)un·pro·fess·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for profess

British Dictionary definitions for profess


/ (prəˈfɛs) /


to affirm or announce (something, such as faith); acknowledgeto profess ignorance; to profess a belief in God
(tr) to claim (something, such as a feeling or skill, or to be or do something), often insincerely or falselyto profess to be a skilled driver
to receive or be received into a religious order, as by taking vows

Word Origin for profess

C14: from Latin prōfitērī to confess openly, from pro- 1 + fatērī to confess
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

Word Origin and History for profess



early 14c., "to take a vow" (in a religious order), a back-formation from profession or else from Old French profes, from Medieval Latin professus "avowed," literally "having declared publicly," past participle of Latin profiteri "declare openly, testify voluntarily, acknowledge, make public statement of," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + fateri (past participle fassus) "acknowledge, confess," akin to fari "speak" (see fame (n.)). Meaning "declare openly" first recorded 1520s, "a direct borrowing of the sense from Latin" [Barnhart]. Related: Professed; professing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper