• (British) IPA: /pɹəˈfɛs/

profess (professes, present participle professing; past and past participle professed)

  1. (transitive) To administer the vows of a religious order to (someone); to admit to a religious order. (Chiefly in passive.) [from 14th c.]
    • 2000, Butler's Lives of the Saints, p.118:
      This swayed the balance decisively in Mary's favour, and she was professed on 8 September 1578.
  2. (reflexive) To declare oneself (to be something). [from 16th c.]
    • 2011, Alex Needham, The Guardian, 9 Dec.:
      Kiefer professes himself amused by the fuss that ensued when he announced that he was buying the Mülheim-Kärlich reactor […].
  3. (ambitransitive) To declare; to assert, affirm. [from 16th c.]
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, First Folio 1623:
      He professes to haue receiued no sinister measure from his Iudge, but most willingly humbles himselfe to the determination of Iustice […].
    • 1974, ‘The Kansas Kickbacks’, Time, 11 Feb 1974:
      The Governor immediately professed that he knew nothing about the incident.
  4. (transitive) To make a claim (to be something); to lay claim to (a given quality, feeling etc.), often with connotations of insincerity. [from 16th c.]
    • 2010, Hélène Mulholland, The Guardian, 28 Sep 2010:
      Ed Miliband professed ignorance of the comment when he was approached by the BBC later.
  5. (transitive) To declare one's adherence to (a religion, deity, principle etc.). [from 16th c.]
    • 1983, Alexander Mcleish, The Frontier Peoples of India, Mittal Publications 1984, p.122:
      The remainder of the population, about two-thirds, belongs to the Mongolian race and professes Buddhism.
  6. (transitive) To work as a professor of; to teach. [from 16th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      he was a Spaniard, who about two hundred yeeres since professed Physicke in Tholouse […].
  7. (transitive, now rare) To claim to have knowledge or understanding of (a given area of interest, subject matter). [from 16th c.]
Translations Translations
  • Spanish: profesar

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