profess

To profess is to declare something, often insincerely. Your joy on the last day of school might lead you to profess that you'll truly miss seeing all the people who annoyed you all year.

You can profess something and mean it, but more often the verb profess is used when someone lies about their true feelings. You might profess your love of your grandmother's tuna casserole, or profess that you never bite your fingernails, but you're just saying what you think people want to hear. The original meaning of profess described taking religious vows, and came from the Latin word professus, meaning "having declared publicly."

Definitions of profess
  1. verb
    confess one's faith in, or allegiance to
    “The terrorists professed allegiance to their country”
    “he professes to be a Communist”
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    type of:
    declare
    state emphatically and authoritatively
  2. verb
    state freely
    “The teacher professed that he was not generous when it came to giving good grades”
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    type of:
    declare
    state emphatically and authoritatively
  3. verb
    admit (to a wrongdoing)
    synonyms: concede, confess
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    types:
    fess up, make a clean breast of, own up
    admit or acknowledge a wrongdoing or error
    type of:
    acknowledge, admit
    declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of
  4. verb
    state insincerely
    “He professed innocence but later admitted his guilt”
    synonyms: pretend
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    type of:
    claim
    assert or affirm strongly; state to be true or existing
  5. verb
    receive into a religious order or congregation
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    type of:
    accept, admit, take, take on
    admit into a group or community
  6. verb
    take vows, as in religious order
    “she professed herself as a nun”
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    types:
    take the veil
    become a nun
    type of:
    vow
    make a vow; promise
  7. verb
    practice as a profession, teach, or claim to be knowledgeable about
    “She professes organic chemistry”
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    type of:
    claim
    assert or affirm strongly; state to be true or existing
Word Family