What does profess mean?

Definitions for profess

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word profess.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. professverb

    practice as a profession, teach, or claim to be knowledgeable about

    "She professes organic chemistry"

  2. professverb

    confess one's faith in, or allegiance to

    "The terrorists professed allegiance to their country"; "he professes to be a Communist"

  3. concede, profess, confessverb

    admit (to a wrongdoing)

    "She confessed that she had taken the money"

  4. professverb

    state freely

    "The teacher professed that he was not generous when it came to giving good grades"

  5. professverb

    receive into a religious order or congregation

  6. professverb

    take vows, as in religious order

    "she professed herself as a nun"

  7. profess, pretendverb

    state insincerely

    "He professed innocence but later admitted his guilt"; "She pretended not to have known the suicide bomber"; "She pretends to be an expert on wine"


  1. professverb

    To administer the vows of a religious order to (someone); to admit to a religious order. (Chiefly in passive.)

  2. professverb

    To declare oneself (to be something).

  3. professverb

    To declare; to assert, affirm.

  4. professverb

    To make a claim (to be something), to lay claim to (a given quality, feeling etc.), often with connotations of insincerity.

  5. professverb

    To declare one's adherence to (a religion, deity, principle etc.).

  6. professverb

    To work as a professor of; to teach.

  7. professverb

    To claim to have knowledge or understanding of (a given area of interest, subject matter).

  8. Etymology: From professer, and its source, the participle stem of profiteri, from pro- + fateri.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To PROFESSverb

    Etymology: professer, Fr. from professus, Lat.

    Would you have me speak after my custom,
    As being profess’d tyrant to their sex. William Shakespeare.

    Pretending first
    Wise to fly pain, professing next the spy. John Milton.

    A servant to thy sex, a slave to thee,
    A foe profest to barren chastity. John Dryden, Knight’s Tale.

    Love well your father;
    To your professing bosoms I commit him. William Shakespeare.

    What, master, read you? First resolve me that.
    —— I read that I profess the art of love. William Shakespeare.

    Without eyes thou shalt want light; profess not the knowledge therefore that thou hast not. Ecclus iii. 25.

  2. To Professverb

    The day almost itself professes yours,
    And little is to do. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    They profess, that they know God, but in works they deny him. Tit. i. 16.

    Profess unto the Lord, that I am come unto the country, which the Lord sware unto our fathers. Deutr. xxvi. 3.

    As he does conceive,
    He is dishonour’d by a man, which ever
    Profess’d to him; why, his revenges must
    In that be made more bitter. William Shakespeare.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Professverb

    to make open declaration of, as of one's knowledge, belief, action, etc.; to avow or acknowledge; to confess publicly; to own or admit freely

  2. Professverb

    to set up a claim to; to make presence to; hence, to put on or present an appearance of

  3. Professverb

    to present to knowledge of, to proclaim one's self versed in; to make one's self a teacher or practitioner of, to set up as an authority respecting; to declare (one's self to be such); as, he professes surgery; to profess one's self a physician

  4. Professverb

    to take a profession upon one's self by a public declaration; to confess

  5. Professverb

    to declare friendship

  6. Etymology: [F. profs, masc., professe, fem., professed (monk or nun), L. professus, p. p. of profiteri to profess; pro before, forward + fateri to confess, own. See Confess.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Profess

    prō-fes′, v.t. to own freely: to make open declaration of: to declare in strong terms: to announce publicly one's skill in: to affirm one's belief in: (Spens.) to present the appearance of: (R.C.) to receive into a religious order by profession.—v.i. to enter publicly into a religious state: (Shak.) to pretend friendship.—adj. Professed′, openly declared: avowed: acknowledged.—adv. Profess′edly.—n. Profes′sion, the act of professing: open declaration: pretence: an employment not mechanical and requiring some degree of learning: calling or known employment: the collective body of persons engaged in any profession: entrance into a religious order.—adj. Profes′sional, pertaining to a profession: engaged in a profession: undertaken as a means of subsistence, as opposed to Amateur.n. one who makes his living by an art, as opposed to an amateur who practises it merely for pastime.—n. Profes′sionalism.—adv. Profes′sionally.—ns. Profess′or, one who professes: one who openly declares belief in certain doctrines: one who publicly practises or teaches any branch of knowledge: a public and authorised teacher in a university:—fem. Profess′oress; Profess′orate, Professō′riāte, the office of a professor or public teacher: his period of office: body of professors.—adj. Professō′rial.—adv. Professō′rially.—n. Profess′orship. [Fr. profès, professed, said of a member of a religious order—L. professus, perf. p. of profitēripro, publicly, fatēri, to confess.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce profess?

How to say profess in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of profess in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of profess in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of profess in a Sentence

  1. Frederick Douglass:

    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

  2. Morgan Potter:

    Our pitch to clients is that it is not about being all things to all people, we profess to be experts with international and Asian ETFs.

  3. President Obama:

    From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith – their faith – profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it.

  4. Jane Austen:

    I pay very little regard...to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.

  5. Matthew Henry:

    Women who profess the Christian religion, must be modest in apparel.”

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"profess." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/profess>.

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