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
    • 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!


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.
  2. (obsolete) To dive deeply; to penetrate.

Related termsEdit

Old FrenchEdit


profound m (oblique and nominative feminine singular profounde)

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