Profess vs Professor - What's the difference?

profess | professor |

As a verb profess

is to administer the vows of a religious order to (someone); to admit to a religious order (chiefly in passive).

As a noun professor is

a teacher or faculty member at a college or university.




  • To administer the vows of a religious order to (someone); to admit to a religious order. (Chiefly in passive.)
  • * 2000 , Butler's Lives of the Saints , p.118:
  • This swayed the balance decisively in Mary's favour, and she was professed on 8 September 1578.
  • (reflexive) To declare oneself (to be something).
  • * 2011 , Alex Needham, The Guardian , 9 Dec.:
  • Kiefer professes himself amused by the fuss that ensued when he announced that he was buying the Mülheim-Kärlich reactor.
  • (ambitransitive) To declare; to assert, affirm.
  • * c. 1604 , (William Shakespeare), Measure for Measure , First Folio 1623:
  • He professes to haue receiued no sinister measure from his Iudge, but most willingly humbles himselfe to the determination of Iustice.
  • * Milton
  • The best and wisest of them all professed / To know this only, that he nothing knew.
  • * 1974 , ‘The Kansas Kickbacks’, Time , 11 Feb 1974:
  • The Governor immediately professed that he knew nothing about the incident.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=(Gary Younge)
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=18, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution , passage=WikiLeaks did not cause these uprisings but it certainly informed them. The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected,
  • To make a claim (to be something), to lay claim to (a given quality, feeling etc.), often with connotations of insincerity.
  • * 2010 , Hélène Mulholland, The Guardian , 28 Sep 2010:
  • Ed Miliband professed ignorance of the comment when he was approached by the BBC later.
  • To declare one's adherence to (a religion, deity, principle etc.).
  • * 1983 , Alexander Mcleish, The Frontier Peoples of India , Mittal Publications 1984, p.122:
  • The remainder of the population, about two-thirds, belongs to the Mongolian race and professes Buddhism.
  • To work as a professor of; to teach.
  • *, II.12:
  • *:he was a Spaniard, who about two hundred yeeres since professed Physicke in Tholouse .
  • professor

    Alternative forms

    * professour (archaic)


    (en noun)
  • A teacher or faculty member at a college or university.
  • A higher ranking for a teacher or faculty member at a college or university. Abbreviated
  • An honorific title for a higher ranking teacher. (Capitalised)
  • Professor Plum'' or ''Prof. Plum .
  • (archaic) One who professes.
  • * 1897 , Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (transl.) The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage'', Introduction, p. ''v :
  • This period in which Abraham the Jew lived was one in which Magic was almost universally believed in, and in which its Professors were held in honour;
  • (US, slang) A pianist in a saloon, brothel, etc.
  • * 2006 , Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day , Vintage 2007, p. 415:
  • You could hear [...] pianos under the hands of whorehouse professors sounding like they came with keys between the keys.
  • The puppeteer who performs a Punch and Judy show; a Punchman.
  • Synonyms

    * prof

    Derived terms

    * adjunct professor * assistant professor * associate professor * full professor * professorial * professoriate * professorly * professorship