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adjective, pro·found·er, pro·found·est.
  1. penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding: a profound thinker.
  2. originating in or penetrating to the depths of one's being; profound grief.
  3. being or going far beneath what is superficial, external, or obvious: profound insight.
  4. of deep meaning; of great and broadly inclusive significance: a profound book.
  5. pervasive or intense; thorough; complete: a profound silence.
  6. extending, situated, or originating far down, or far beneath the surface: the profound depths of the ocean.
  7. low: a profound bow.
noun Literary.
  1. something that is profound.
  2. the deep sea; ocean.
  3. depth; abyss.

Origin of profound

1275–1325; Middle English < Anglo-French < Latin profundus deep, vast, equivalent to pro- pro-1 + fundus bottom (see found2)
Related formspro·found·ly, adverbpro·found·ness, nounun·pro·found, adjectiveun·pro·found·ly, adverb

Synonyms for profound

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Antonyms for profound Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for profound

Contemporary Examples of profound

Historical Examples of profound

  • There was profound conviction in the emphasis with which she spoke her warning.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • The world-shaking conceptions have always been won in profound experience.

  • Martin looked at her respectfully but with profound curiosity.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • He listened in a stillness of dread which resembled the immobility of profound attention.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

  • The Personage on the hearthrug had been listening with profound attention.

    The Secret Agent

    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for profound


  1. penetrating deeply into subjects or ideasa profound mind
  2. showing or requiring great knowledge or understandinga profound treatise
  3. situated at or extending to a great depth
  4. reaching to or stemming from the depths of one's natureprofound regret
  5. intense or absoluteprofound silence
  6. thoroughgoing; extensiveprofound changes
  1. archaic, or literary a great depth; abyss
Derived Formsprofoundly, adverbprofoundness or profundity (prəˈfʌndɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for profound

C14: from Old French profund, from Latin profundus deep, from pro- 1 + fundus bottom
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 profound

c.1300, "characterized by intellectual depth," from Old French profund (12c., Modern French profond), from Latin profundus "deep, bottomless, vast," also "obscure; profound; immoderate," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + fundus "bottom" (see fund (n.)). The literal and figurative senses both were in Latin, but English, having already deep, employed this word primarily in its figurative sense. Related: Profoundly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper