profound

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English profound, from Anglo-Norman profound, from Old French profont, from Latin profundus, from pro + fundus (bottom; foundation).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: prə-found′, IPA(key): /pɹəˈfaʊnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊnd
  • Hyphenation: pro‧found

Adjective[edit]

profound (comparative more profound, superlative most profound)

  1. Descending far below the surface; opening or reaching to great depth; deep.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost
      A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog
  2. Very deep; very serious
  3. Intellectually deep; entering far into subjects; reaching to the bottom of a matter, or of a branch of learning; thorough
    a profound investigation
    a profound scholar
    profound wisdom
  4. Characterized by intensity; deeply felt; pervading
    • 1603-1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
      How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
    • 1860, Henry Hart Milman, History of Latin Christianity : including that of the popes to the pontificate of Nicholas V.
      Of the profound corruption of this class there can be no doubt.
    • 2019, Shelina Janmohamed, Long before Shamima Begum, Muslim women were targets, in the Guardian.[1]
      It’s probably one of the reasons the Shamima Begum case is having such a profound impact; one-dimensional stereotypes about Muslim women already run so deep.
  5. Bending low, exhibiting or expressing deep humility; lowly; submissive
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
      And with this, and a profound bow to his patrons, the Manager retires, and the curtain rises.
    • 17th century, Brian Duppa, Holy Rules and Helps to Devotion
      What humble gestures! What profound reverence!

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Noun[edit]

profound (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) The deep; the sea; the ocean.
    • 1638, George Sandys, A Paraphrase vpon the Divine Poems, Exodvs 15:
      God, in the fathomlesse profound / Hath all his choice Commanders drown'd.
  2. (obsolete) An abyss.
    • 1674, John Milton, Paradise Lost (Book II), 976-980:
      ...if some other place, / From your dominion won, th' Ethereal King / Possesses lately, thither to arrive / travel this profound. Direct my course...

Verb[edit]

profound (third-person singular simple present profounds, present participle profounding, simple past and past participle profounded)

  1. (obsolete) To cause to sink deeply; to cause to dive or penetrate far down.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Thomas Browne to this entry?)
  2. (obsolete) To dive deeply; to penetrate.

Related terms[edit]


Old French[edit]

Adjective[edit]

profound m (oblique and nominative feminine singular profounde)

  1. (late Anglo-Norman) Alternative spelling of profont