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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb profess:


Definition of profess

What does profess mean?


  1. practice as a profession, teach, or claim to be knowledgeable about
    • examples: She professes organic chemistry | They profess to move
    • more generic word: claim = assert or affirm strongly
  2. confess one's faith in, or allegiance to
    • examples: The terrorists professed allegiance to their country | he professes to be a Communist
    • more generic word: declare = state emphatically and authoritatively
  3. admit (to a wrongdoing)
  4. state freely
    • example: The teacher professed that he was not generous when it came to giving good grades
    • more generic word: declare = state emphatically and authoritatively
  5. receive into a religious order or congregation
  6. take vows, as in religious order
    • example: she professed herself as a nun
    • more generic word: vow = make a vow
    • more specific term: take the veil = become a nun
  7. state insincerely
    • example: He professed innocence but later admitted his guilt
    • synonym of profess: pretend
    • more generic word: claim = assert or affirm strongly

Alternative definition


  1. 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. To set up a claim to; to make presence to; hence, to put on or present an appearance of.
  3. 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. To take a profession upon one's self by a public declaration; to confess.
  5. [obsolete] To declare friendship.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for profess

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Google previewEncyclopaedia perthensis, or, Universal dictionary of the arts, sciences, literature, etc. : intended to supersede the use of other books of reference (1816)

* To PROFESS, v. a. [professir, Fr. from profcjsits, Lat.J 1.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Soviet Law (1985)

by F. J. Ferdinand Joseph Maria Feldbrugge, Gerard Pieter Van den Berg, William Bradford Simons

Freedom to Profess a Religion This freedom, guaranteed by the Constitution (Art. 52) extends only to religions recognized under Soviet law. Citizens wishing to practise a religion in sects lacking state registration, consequently, are prevented  ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for profess

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Photo about profess


Konzelebranten ewige Profess

Photo credit: andre.ballensiefen

Quotes about profess

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. (Jane Austen)
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Scrabble value of P3R1O1F4E1S1S1

The value of this 7-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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