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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for profoundness

Historical Examples of profoundness

  • As they drew near the Point, they were struck with the profoundness of its quiet.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • I declare, the profoundness, the ingeniousness, and the boldness of your successful answers filled me with amazement!

    Solaris Farm

    Milan C. Edson

  • Profoundness in their apprehension and glorifying of everyday things (fire, agriculture).

  • His view only differs from the summary before us in the power of its eloquence and the profoundness of its psychologic insight.

  • We may acquire languages; we may devote ourselves to arts; we may give ourselves up to the profoundness of science.

    Thoughts on Man

    William Godwin

British Dictionary definitions for profoundness


  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 profoundness



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