[ pruh-fes-er ]
See synonyms for: professorprofessors on

  1. 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.

  2. any teacher who has the rank of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor.

  1. a teacher.

  2. an instructor in some art or skilled sport: a professor of singing; a professor of boxing.

  3. a person who professes or declares particular sentiments, beliefs, etc.

Origin of professor

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English from 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 becoming ss

Other words from professor

  • pro·fes·so·ri·al [proh-fuh-sawr-ee-uhl, -sohr-, prof-uh-], /ˌproʊ fəˈsɔr i əl, -ˈsoʊr-, ˌprɒf ə-/, adjective
  • pro·fes·so·ri·al·ism, noun
  • pro·fes·so·ri·al·ly, adverb
  • non·pro·fes·so·ri·al, adjective
  • non·pro·fes·so·ri·al·ly, adverb
  • pseu·do·pro·fes·so·ri·al, adjective
  • sub·pro·fes·sor, noun
  • un·pro·fes·so·ri·al, adjective
  • un·pro·fes·so·ri·al·ly, adverb

Words Nearby professor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use professor in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for professor


/ (prəˈfɛsə) /

  1. the principal lecturer or teacher in a field of learning at a university or college; a holder of a university chair

  2. mainly US and Canadian any teacher in a university or college: See also associate professor, assistant professor, full professor

  1. a person who claims skill and instructs others in some sport, occupation, etc

  2. a person who professes his opinions, beliefs, etc

Origin of professor

C14: from Medieval Latin: one who has made his profession in a religious order, from Latin: a public teacher; see profess

Derived forms of professor

  • professorial (ˌprɒfɪˈsɔːrɪəl), adjective
  • professorially, adverb

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