de profundis

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Borrowed from Latin de profundis (from the depths).


de profundis (not comparable)

  1. From deep feelings of misery or despair.
    • 1838, Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution: a History - Volume 2, page 198:
      Carts go along the streets; full of stript human corpses, thrown pell-mell; limbs sticking up: --seest thou that cold Hand sticking up, through the heaped embrace of brother corpses, in its yellow paleness, in its cold rigor; the palm opened towards Heaven, as if in dumb prayer, in expostulation de profundis, Take pity on the Sons of Men !
    • 1934, Emil Brunner, The Mediator: A Study of the Central Doctrine of the Christian Faith, →ISBN:
      God can only be known de profundis.
    • 1988, Ron Jeffers, Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire: Sacred Latin texts, →ISBN:
      They are acclamations de profundis, pilgrim odes of those who once again "lift their eyes unto the mountains" (Psalm 120 [121] : 1), trusting that "they who sow in tears shall reap in joy" (Psalm 125 [126] : 5),
    • 2002, Daniel W. Conway & K. E. Gover, Søren Kierkegaard: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers, →ISBN:
      Anti-Climacus culminates a little polemic against fatalism by speaking of prayer, particularly prayer in extremis, when all seems lost, or prayer de profundis, out of the depths of desperation, and just here he comes the closest to identifying God outright with possibility.
    • 2011, John T. Irwin, Hart Crane's Poetry, →ISBN:
      ... “turned back to the Indians, it is the saving gesture—but a gesture of despair. ... the ground to confront de profundis the inevitability and the reality of one's own despair (“All have to come from under and through a dead layer” [Williams 213]) .

Proper noun[edit]

de profundis

  1. Alternative form of De Profundis (psalm)
    • 1922, John Punnett Peters, The Psalms as Liturgies: Being the Paddock Lectures for 1920:
      This is the de profundis, one of the great penitential hymns of the Christian Church
    • 2000, Joseph Pearce, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, →ISBN, page 360:
      He had sung the de profundis of the psalmist in the hope of the vita nuova of Dante.
    • 2016, Gary Watt, Shakespeare's Acts of Will: Law, Testament and Properties of Performance, →ISBN:
      The de profundis attracted the ire of protestant polemicists including James Pilkington, Bishop of Durham, not merely because the speaking of the de profundis (usually by some boy) was a traditional feature of Roman Catholic funerals, but more specifically because of its association with Catholic belief in purgatory.