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profess (v.)

early 14c., professen, "to take a vow" (in a religious order), a back-formation from profession or else from Medieval Latin professare, from professus "avowed," literally "having declared publicly," past participle of Latin profiteri "declare openly, testify voluntarily, acknowledge, make public statement of," from pro- "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + fateri (past participle fassus) "acknowledge, confess" (akin to fari "to speak," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say").

The meaning "declare openly" is recorded from 1520s, "a direct borrowing of the sense from Latin" [Barnhart]. Related: Professed; professing.

Origin and meaning of profess

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Definitions of profess from WordNet

profess (v.)
practice as a profession, teach, or claim to be knowledgeable about;
profess (v.)
confess one's faith in, or allegiance to;
The terrorists professed allegiance to their country
profess (v.)
admit (to a wrongdoing);
Synonyms: concede / confess
profess (v.)
state freely;
The teacher professed that he was not generous when it came to giving good grades
profess (v.)
receive into a religious order or congregation;
profess (v.)
take vows, as in religious order;
she professed herself as a nun
profess (v.)
state insincerely;
He professed innocence but later admitted his guilt
Synonyms: pretend
From wordnet.princeton.edu