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.


  1. profess

    To profess means to declare or claim openly or publicly, often about one's beliefs, feelings, or skills. It could also refer to formally affirming or admitting something. Additionally, it can mean working as a teacher or academic in a particular field, especially at the level of higher education.

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. Janos Arnay:

    It is one of the maladies of our age to profess a frenzied allegiance to truth in unimportant matters, to refuse consistently to face her where graver issues are at stake.

  2. David Bowie:

    I don't profess to have music as my big wheel and there are a number of other things as important to me apart from music. Theatre and mime, for instance.

  3. Frederick Douglass 1817-1895:

    If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet renounce controversy are people who want crops without ploughing the ground.

  4. Christen Kuikoua:

    Crimes, racism, and rape, Just to name a Few Violence Against Christians, a war to reshape. And yet, in God we trust, they dare profess, What God is this, with such moral regress? Tell me, people, tell me, world so wide, What God is this, where sins abide? For the God I know rejects abomination,

  5. Yancey Strickler:

    When I talk to my peer CEOs and other entrepreneurs, the sort of vision we lay out here and the ideas we profess, these are not crazily unique perspectives. I hear them from a lot of other CEOs and entrepreneurs, my hope is a future where it is not news when somebody becomes a PBC [public benefit company] -- it’s actually very typical.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for profess

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for profess »


Find a translation for the profess definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"profess." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/profess>.

Discuss these profess definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for profess? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    equally skillful with each hand
    A adscripted
    B articulate
    C ambidextrous
    D soft-witted

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for profess: