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


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


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
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “Measvre for Measure”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      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


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.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book II”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 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.
  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