Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



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



profound (comparative more profound, superlative most profound)

  1. Descending far below the surface; opening or reaching to great depth; deep.
  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
    • Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), that the certain indications of pregnancy are the following: the dryness of the vulva immediately after the coitus, the inclination to stretch herself, accesses of somnolency, heavy and profound sleep, the frequent contraction of the opening of the vulva to such an extent that not even a meroud could penetrate, the nipples of the breast become darker, and lastly, the most certain of all the marks is the cessation of the menstruation.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Shakespeare
      Profound sciatica
    • (Can we date this quote?), Henry Hart Milman
      Of the profound corruption of this class there can be no doubt.
  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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dupp
      What humble gestures! What profound reverence!


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.


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...


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]


profound m (oblique and nominative feminine singular profounde)

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