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, having declared publicly.

Primary Meanings of profess

1.
v
confess one's faith in, or allegiance to
2.
v
practice as a profession, teach, or claim to be knowledgeable about
Full Definitions of profess
1

v confess one's faith in, or allegiance to

“The terrorists professed allegiance to their country”
“he professes to be a Communist”
Type of:
declare
state emphatically and authoritatively

v state freely

“The teacher professed that he was not generous when it came to giving good grades”
Type of:
declare
state emphatically and authoritatively

v admit (to a wrongdoing)

Synonyms:
concede, confess
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

v state insincerely

“He professed innocence but later admitted his guilt”
Synonyms:
pretend
Type of:
claim
assert or affirm strongly; state to be true or existing

v receive into a religious order or congregation

Type of:
accept, admit, take, take on
admit into a group or community

v take vows, as in religious order

“she professed herself as a nun”
Types:
take the veil
become a nun
Type of:
vow
make a vow; promise
2

v practice as a profession, teach, or claim to be knowledgeable about

“She professes organic chemistry”
Type of:
claim
assert or affirm strongly; state to be true or existing

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