Definition of profess in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈfɛs/


[with object]
1Claim, often falsely, that one has (a quality or feeling): he had professed his love for her only to walk away [with infinitive]: I don’t profess to be an expert [with complement]: (profess oneself) he professed himself amazed at the boy’s ability
More example sentences
  • They talked far more to the media, sponsors and loved ones - professing eternal devotion - than to each other (clocking up 5000 minutes on the phone).
  • Throughout the years consumers have professed their lifelong love of America's number one mustard.
  • Pupils at Paxcroft Primary School are preparing to send and receive cards in the run-up to Saturday, when thousands of people across west Wiltshire will profess their true feelings to loved ones.
declare, announce, proclaim, assert, state, affirm, avow, maintain, protest, aver, vow
rare asseverate
claim, pretend, purport, allege, make a pretence of, lay claim, make out that
informal let on that
1.1 archaic Have or claim knowledge or skill in (a subject or accomplishment): though knowing little of the arts I professed, he proved a natural adept
2Affirm one’s faith in or allegiance to (a religion or set of beliefs): a people professing Christianity
More example sentences
  • Article 18 protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief.
  • This is precisely because it is a multi-religious country with substantial segments of the population professing various religions like Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism.
  • It is not a matter of belonging to a religion or professing one's faith, it is a matter of orientation in life and participation in its mysteries.
state/affirm one's faith in, affirm one's allegiance to, make a public declaration of, declare publicly, avow, confess, acknowledge publicly
2.1 (be professed) Be received into a religious order under vows: she entered St Margaret’s Convent, and was professed in 1943
More example sentences
  • His baptismal name was Tadhg, but when he was professed in Louvain as a Franciscan lay brother, he took the name of Míchéal.
  • He was professed in 1965 in the Capuchin Order, a religious order dedicated to following the traditions of St. Francis of Assisi.
  • She entered the Order in 1964 and was professed in April of 1967.
3 archaic or humorous Teach (a subject) as a professor: a professor—what does he profess?
More example sentences
  • He earned his doctorate in Roman history at the Sorbonne, and has professed that subject for many years at the University of Paris.
  • While Schama professes history at Columbia University, he was born in London, was educated at Cambridge, used to teach at Oxford, and has a long-term deal with the BBC.
  • Foolish us with our medieval notions of professors professing away, surrounded by their students, all engaged in an effort to understand the world we live in and change it for the better.


Middle English (as be professed 'be received into a religious order'): from Latin profess- 'declared publicly', from the verb profiteri, from pro- 'before' + fateri 'confess'.

Words that rhyme with profess

acquiesce, address, assess, Bess, bless, bouillabaisse, caress, cess, chess, coalesce, compress, confess, convalesce, cress, deliquesce, digress, dress, duchesse, duress, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, excess, express, fess, finesse, fluoresce, guess, Hesse, impress, incandesce, intumesce, jess, largesse, less, manageress, mess, ness, noblesse, obsess, oppress, outguess, phosphoresce, politesse, possess, press, priestess, princess, process, progress, prophetess, regress, retrogress, stress, success, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, tress, tristesse, underdress, vicomtesse, yes

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Line breaks: pro|fess

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