avowed; acknowledged.
professing to be qualified; professional, rather than amateur.
having taken the vows of, or been received into, a religious order.
alleged; pretended.

Origin of professed

1300–50; Middle English (in religious sense) < Medieval Latin profess(us) (special use of Latin professus, past participle of profitērī to declare publicly, equivalent to pro- pro-1 + -fet-, combining form of fatērī to acknowledge + -tus past participle suffix, with tt > ss) + -ed2
Related formshalf-pro·fessed, adjectivenon·pro·fessed, adjectiveself-pro·fessed, adjectiveun·pro·fessed, adjective



verb (used with object)

to lay claim to, often insincerely; pretend to: He professed extreme regret.
to declare openly; announce or affirm; avow or acknowledge: to profess one's satisfaction.
to affirm faith in or allegiance to (a religion, God, etc.).
to declare oneself skilled or expert in; claim to have knowledge of; make (a thing) one's profession or business.
to teach as a professor: She professes comparative literature.
to receive or admit into a religious order.

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

Synonyms for profess Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for professed

stated, acknowledged, declared, told

Examples from the Web for professed

Contemporary Examples of professed

Historical Examples of professed

  • Though he professed to like Philip, yet he saw but little of him.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • It was as if a professed unbeliever in ghosts should be frightened by a ghost story.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • He was baptised in the Ouse, and became a professed member of the Baptist congregation.


    James Anthony Froude

  • Henry professed to be pleased that she had accepted his ideas so completely.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • "And you professed to be telling me everything interesting," he reproached her.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill

British Dictionary definitions for professed


adjective (prenominal)

avowed or acknowledged
alleged or pretended
professing to be qualified asa professed philosopher
having taken vows of a religious order
Derived Formsprofessedly (prəˈfɛsɪdlɪ), adverb



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 professed

"openly declared," 1560s, past participle adjective from profess. Earlier in a more specific sense of "having taken vows of a religious order" (late 14c.). Related: Professedly.



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