profane (adj.) Look up profane at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "un-ecclesiastical, secular," from Old French profane (12c.) and directly from Latin profanus "unholy, not consecrated," according to Barnhart from pro fano "not admitted into the temple (with the initiates)," literally "out in front of the temple," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + fano, ablative of fanum "temple" (see feast (n.)). Sense of "unholy, polluted" is recorded from c.1500. Related: Profanely.
profanity (n.) Look up profanity at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Late Latin profanitas, from Latin profanus (see profane (adj.)). Extended sense of "foul language" is from Old Testament commandment against "profaning" the name of the Lord.
profer (v.) Look up profer at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "to utter, express," from Old French proferer (13c.) "utter, present verbally, pronounce," from Latin proferre "to bring forth, produce," figuratively "make known, publish, quote, utter." Sense confused with proffer. Related: Profered; profering.
profess (v.) Look up profess at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "to take a vow" (in a religious order), a back-formation from profession or else from Old French profes, from Medieval Latin professus "avowed," literally "having declared publicly," past participle of Latin profiteri "declare openly, testify voluntarily, acknowledge, make public statement of," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + fateri (past participle fassus) "acknowledge, confess," akin to fari "speak" (see fame (n.)). Meaning "declare openly" first recorded 1520s, "a direct borrowing of the sense from Latin" [Barnhart]. Related: Professed; professing.
professed (adj.) Look up professed at Dictionary.com
"openly declared," 1560s, past participle adjective from profess. Earlier in a more specific sense of "having taken vows of a religious order" (late 14c.). Related: Professedly.
profession (n.) Look up profession at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "vows taken upon entering a religious order," from Old French profession (12c.), from Latin professionem (nominative professio) "public declaration," from past participle stem of profiteri "declare openly" (see profess). Meaning "any solemn declaration" is from mid-14c. Meaning "occupation one professes to be skilled in" is from early 15c.; meaning "body of persons engaged in some occupation" is from 1610; as a euphemism for "prostitution" (compare oldest profession) it is recorded from 1888.
professional (adj.) Look up professional at Dictionary.com
early 15c., of religious orders; 1747 of careers (especially of the skilled or learned trades from c.1793); see profession. In sports, opposed to amateur, from 1846. Related: Professionally.
professional (n.) Look up professional at Dictionary.com
"one who does it for a living," 1798, from professional (adj.).
professionalism (n.) Look up professionalism at Dictionary.com
1846, from professional (adj.) + -ism.
professionalize (v.) Look up professionalize at Dictionary.com
1833, from professional (adj.) + -ize. Related: Professionalized; professionalizing.
professor (n.) Look up professor at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "one who teaches a branch of knowledge," from Old French professeur (14c.) and directly from Latin professor "person who professes to be an expert in some art or science; teacher of highest rank," agent noun from profiteri "lay claim to, declare openly" (see profess). As a title prefixed to a name, it dates from 1706. Short form prof is recorded from 1838.
Professor. One professing religion. This canting use of the word comes down from the Elizabethan period, but is obsolete in England. [Thornton, "American Glossary," 1912]
professorial (adj.) Look up professorial at Dictionary.com
1713, from professor + -ial.
professorship (n.) Look up professorship at Dictionary.com
1640s, from professor + -ship.
proffer (v.) Look up proffer at Dictionary.com
"to offer," late 13c., from Anglo-French profrier (mid-13c.), Old French poroffrir (11c.), from por- "forth" (from Latin pro-; see pro-) + offrir "to offer," from Latin offerre (see offer (v.)). Related: Proffered; proffering. As a noun from late 14c.
proficiency (n.) Look up proficiency at Dictionary.com
1540s, probably from -cy + Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "accomplish, make progress; be useful, do good; have success, profit," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious).
proficient (adj.) Look up proficient at Dictionary.com
1580s, back-formation from proficiency or else from Old French proficient (15c.), from Latin proficientem (nominative proficiens), present participle of proficere "to make progress, go forward, effect, accomplish, be useful" (see proficiency). Related: Proficiently.
profile (n.) Look up profile at Dictionary.com
1650s, "a drawing of the outline of anything," from older Italian profilo "a drawing in outline," from profilare "to draw in outline," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + filare "draw out, spin," from Late Latin filare "to spin, draw out a line," from filum "thread" (see file (v.1)). Meaning "a side view" is from 1660s. Meaning "biographical sketch, character study" is from 1734.
profile (v.) Look up profile at Dictionary.com
1715, "to represent in profile," from profile (n.) or Italian profilare. Meaning "to summarize a person in writing" is from 1948. Related: Profiled; profiling.
profiling (n.) Look up profiling at Dictionary.com
by 1852 as a term in field engineering, verbal noun from profile (v.). The racial/ethnic stereotyping sense is attested from c.1991, American English.
profit (v.) Look up profit at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "to advance, benefit, gain," from profit (n.) and from Old French prufiter, porfiter "to benefit," from prufit (see profit (n.)). Related: Profited; profiting.
profit (n.) Look up profit at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., "income;" c.1300, "benefit, advantage;"from Old French prufit, porfit "profit, gain" (mid-12c.), from Latin profectus "profit, advance, increase, success, progress," noun use of past participle of proficere (see proficiency). As the opposite of loss, it replaced Old English gewinn. Profit margin attested from 1853.
profitability (n.) Look up profitability at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from profitable + -ity.
profitable (adj.) Look up profitable at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "yielding benefit, useful," from profit (v.) + -able or from Old French profitable, porfitable. Specific sense of "money-making" is attested from 1758. Related: Profitably.
profiteer (v.) Look up profiteer at Dictionary.com
1797, but dormant in English until it was revived in World War I, from profit + -eer. From 1912 as a noun. Related: Profiteering (1814).
Or is it simply hysteria which produces what is to-day termed "the profiteer?" It is probable that the modern profiteer is the same person whom we formerly called "the grafter, the extortioner, the robber, the gouger." ["Legal Aid Review," April 1920]
profitless (adj.) Look up profitless at Dictionary.com
1590s, from profit (n.) + -less.
profligacy (n.) Look up profligacy at Dictionary.com
1670s, from profligate + -cy.
profligate (adj.) Look up profligate at Dictionary.com
1520s, "overthrown, routed" (now obsolete in this sense), from Latin profligatus "destroyed, ruined, corrupt, abandoned, dissolute," past participle of profligare "to cast down, defeat, ruin," from pro- "down, forth" (see pro-) + fligere "to strike" (see afflict). Main modern meaning "recklessly extravagant" is 1779, via notion of "ruined by vice" (1640s, implied in a use of profligation). Related: Profligately. As a noun from 1709.
profound (adj.) Look up profound at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "characterized by intellectual depth," from Old French profund (12c., Modern French profond), from Latin profundus "deep, bottomless, vast," also "obscure; profound; immoderate," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + fundus "bottom" (see fund (n.)). The literal and figurative senses both were in Latin, but English, having already deep, employed this word primarily in its figurative sense. Related: Profoundly.
profundity (n.) Look up profundity at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "bottom of the sea," from Old French profundite (Modern French profondité) and directly from Late Latin profunditatem (nominative profunditas) "depth, intensity, immensity," from profundus "deep, vast" (see profound). Meaning "depth of intellect" in English is from c.1500.
profuse (adj.) Look up profuse at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "lavish, extravagant," from Latin profusus "spread out, lavish, extravagant," literally "poured forth," noun use of past participle of profundere "pour forth," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + fundere "to pour" (see found (v.2)). Meaning "bountiful" is from c.1600. Related: Profusely; profuseness.
profusion (n.) Look up profusion at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Middle French profusion (16c.) and directly from Late Latin profusionem (nominative profusio) "a pouring out," noun of action from past participle stem of profundere (see profuse).
profusive (adj.) Look up profusive at Dictionary.com
1630s, from profuse + -ive. Related: Profusively; profusiveness.
prog Look up prog at Dictionary.com
1958, colloquial shortening of progressive (q.v.). Earlier it was British student slang for proctor (1890) and earlier still a cant word for "food, provisions" (1650s), perhaps from verb prog "to poke about" (1610s), of unknown origin, perhaps related to prod (v.). Related: Progged; progging.
progenitor (n.) Look up progenitor at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Anglo-French progenitour (mid-14c.), Old French progeniteur (14c.) and directly from Latin progenitor "ancestor, the founder of a family," agent noun from progenitus, past participle of progignere (see progeny). Related: Progenitive; progenital; progenitrix (c.1600).
progeny (n.) Look up progeny at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French progenie (13c.) and directly from Latin progenies "descendants, offspring, lineage, race, family," from stem of progignere "beget," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + gignere "to produce, beget" (see genus).
progeria (n.) Look up progeria at Dictionary.com
1902, Modern Latin, from Greek progeros "prematurely old;" from pro- (see pro-) + geras "old man" (see geriatric).
progesterone (n.) Look up progesterone at Dictionary.com
female steroid sex hormone which prepares the uterus for child-bearing, 1935, from German Progesteron, from progestin (from which substance it was obtained), which had been coined 1930 from pro- (see pro-) + Latin gestare, literally "to carry about" (see gestation), on notion of "substance which favors gestation." Also see -one.
prognathous (adj.) Look up prognathous at Dictionary.com
1836, from pro- + Greek gnathos "jaw" (see gnathic) + -ous. Related: Prognathic.
prognosis (n.) Look up prognosis at Dictionary.com
1650s, "forecast of the probable course of a disease," from Late Latin prognosis, from Greek prognosis "foreknowledge," also, in medicine, "predicted course of a disease," from stem of progignoskein "come to know beforehand," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + gignoskein "come to know" (see gnostic). General (non-medical) use in English from 1706. A back-formed verb prognose is attested from 1837. Related: Prognosed; prognosing.
prognostic (adj.) Look up prognostic at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Medieval Latin prognosticus, from Greek prognostikos "foreknowing," from progignoskein (see prognosis). Related: Prognostical (1580s).
prognosticate (v.) Look up prognosticate at Dictionary.com
early 15c., a back-formation from prognostication and also from Medieval Latin prognosticatus, past participle of prognosticare (see prognostication). Related: Prognosticated; prognosticating.
prognostication (n.) Look up prognostication at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French pronosticacion (14c.) and directly from Medieval Latin *prognosticationem (nominative prognosticatio), noun of action from past participle stem of prognosticare "foretell," from Latin prognostica "sign to forecast weather," from neuter plural of Greek prognostikos "foreknowing," from progignoskein (see prognosis).
prognosticator (n.) Look up prognosticator at Dictionary.com
1550s, agent noun in Latin form from prognosticate.
program (n.) Look up program at Dictionary.com
1630s, "public notice," from Late Latin programma "proclamation, edict," from Greek programma "a written public notice," from stem of prographein "to write publicly," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy).

General sense of "a definite plan or scheme" is recorded from 1837. Meaning "list of pieces at a concert, playbill" first recorded 1805 and retains the original sense. That of "objects or events suggested by music" is from 1854. Sense of "broadcasting presentation" is from 1923. Computer sense (noun and verb) is from 1945. Spelling programme, established in Britain, is from French in modern use and began to be used early 19c., originally especially in the "playbill" sense. Program music attested from 1877.
program (v.) Look up program at Dictionary.com
1889, "write program notes;" 1896, "arrange according to program," from program (n.). Of computers from 1945. From 1963 in the figurative sense of "to train to behave in a predetermined way." Related: Programmed; programming.
programmable (adj.) Look up programmable at Dictionary.com
1959, from program (v.) + -able.
programmatic (adj.) Look up programmatic at Dictionary.com
1847, from Greek programma (genitive programmatos; see program (n.)) + -ic. Related: Programmatically.
programme Look up programme at Dictionary.com
see program.
programmer (n.) Look up programmer at Dictionary.com
1890, "event planner," agent noun from program (v.). Meaning "person who programs computers" is attested from 1948.
progress (v.) Look up progress at Dictionary.com
1590s in the literal sense; c.1600 in the figurative sense, from progress (n.). OED says the verb was obsolete in English 18c. but was reformed or retained in America and subsequently long regarded in Britain as an Americanism. Related: Progressed; progressing.