Dictionary: PRO-FESS'ING – PROF'IT

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Openly declaring; avowing; acknowledging.

PRO-FES'SION, n. [Fr. from L. professio.]

  1. Open declaration; public avowal or acknowledgment of one's sentiments or belief; as, professions of friendship or sincerity; a profession of faith or religion. The professions of princes, when a crown is the bait, are a slender security. – Lesley. The Indians quickly perceive the coincidence or the contradiction between professions and conduct, and their confidence or distrust follows of course. – J. Morse.
  2. The business which one professes to understand and to follow for subsistence; calling; vocation; employment; as, the learned professions. We speak of the professions of a clergyman, of a lawyer, and of a physician or surgeon; the profession of lecturer on chimistry or mineralogy. But the word is not applied to an occupation merely mechanical.
  3. The collective body of persons engaged in a calling. We speak of practices honorable or disgraceful to a profession.
  4. Among the Romanists, the entering into a religions order, by which a person offers himself to God by a vow of inviolable obedience, chastity and poverty. – Encyc.


Pertaining to a profession or to a calling; as, professional studies, pursuits, duties, engagements; professional character or skill.


  1. By profession or declaration. He is professionally a friend to religion.
  2. By calling; as, one employed professionally.

PRO-FESS'OR, n. [L.]

  1. One who makes open declaration of his sentiments or opinions; particularly, one who makes a public avowal of his belief in the Scriptures and his faith in Christ, and thus unites himself to the visible church. – Bacon. Hammond.
  2. One that publicly teaches any science or branch of learning; particularly, an officer in a university, college or other seminary, whose business is to read lectures or instruct students in a particular branch of learning; as, a professor of theology or mathematics.

PRO-FES-SO'RI-AL, a. [L. professorius.]

Pertaining to a professor; as, the professorial chair. – Enfield.


The office of a professor or public teacher of the sciences. – Walton.


Pertaining to a professor.


  1. An offer made; something proposed for acceptance by another; as, proffers of peace or friendship. He made a proffer to lay down his commission of command in the army. – Clarendon.
  2. Essay; attempt. – Bacon.

PROF'FER, v.t. [L. profero; pro and fero, to bear; It. profferere, profferire; Sp. proferir; Fr. proferer.]

  1. To offer for acceptance; as, to profer a gift; to proffer services; to proffer friendship.
  2. To essay or attempt of one's own accord. None / So hardy as to proffer or accept / Alone the dreadful voyage. – Milton.


Offered for acceptance.


One who offers any thing for acceptance.


Offering for acceptance.

PRO-FI'CIENCE, or PRO-FI'CIEN-CY, n. [from L. proficiens, from proficio, to advance forward; pro and facio, to make.]

Advance in the acquisition of any art, science or knowledge; improvement; progression in knowledge. Students are examined that they may manifest their proficiency in their studies or in knowledge.


One who has made considerable advances in any business, art, science or branch of learning; as, a proficient in a trade or occupation; a proficient in mathematics, in anatomy, in music, &c.


By proficiency.

PRO-FIC'U-OUS, a. [L. proficuus, proficio, supra.]

Profitable; advantageous; useful. [Little used.] – Harvey.

PRO'FILE, n. [pro'fil; Fr. profil; pro and fil; It. profilo; Sp. and Port. perfil; per and fil, L. filum, a thread or line.]

  1. Primarily, an outline or contour; hence, in sculpture and painting, a head or portrait represented sidewise or in a side view; the side face or half face; as, to draw or appear in profile; the profile of Pope or Addison.
  2. In architecture, the contour or outline of a figure, building or member; also, the draught of a building, representing it as if cut down perpendicularly from the roof to the foundation. – Encyc.

PRO'FILE, v.t. [Fr. profiler; It. profilare; Sp. perfilar.]

To draw the outline of a head sidewise; to draw in profile; as a building.


Drawn so as to present a side view.


Drawing a portrait so as to represent a side view; drawing an outline. – Encyc.


One who takes profiles.

PROF'IT, n. [Fr. profit; It. profitto; from L. profectus, proficio, to profit, literally to proceed forward, to advance; pro and facio. The primary sense of facio is to urge or drive.]

  1. In commerce, the advance in the price of goods sold beyond the cost of purchase. Net profit is the gain made by selling goods at an advanced price, or a price beyond what they had cost the seller, and beyond all costs and charges. The profit of the farmer and the manufacturer is the gain made by the sale of produce or manufactures, after deducting the value of the labor, materials, rents and all expenses, together with the interest of the capital employed, whether land, machinery, buildings, instruments or money. Let no man anticipate uncertain profits. – Rambler.
  2. Any gain or pecuniary advantage; as, an office of profit or honor.
  3. Any advantage; any accession of good from labor or exertion; an extensive signification, comprehending the acquisition of any thing valuable; corporeal or intellectual, temporal or spiritual. A person may derive profit from exercise, amusements, reading, study, meditation, social intercourse, religious instruction, &c. Every improvement or advance in knowledge is profit to a wise man.

PROF'IT, v.i.

  1. To gain advantage in pecuniary interest; as, to profit by trade or manufactures.
  2. To make improvement; to improve; to grow wiser or better; to advance in any thing useful; as, to profit by reading or by experience. She has profiled by your counsel. – Dryden.
  3. To be of use or advantage; to bring good to. Riches profit not in the day of wrath. – Prov. xi.

PROF'IT, v.t. [It. profittare; Fr. profiter.]

  1. To benefit; to advantage; applied to one's self, to derive some pecuniary interest or some accession of good from any thing; as, to profit one's self by a commercial undertaking, or by reading or instruction. In this sense, the verb is generally used intransitively. Applied to others, to communicate good to; to advance the interest of. Brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you? – 1 Cor. xiv. Whereto might the strength of their hands profit me? – Job xxx.
  2. To improve; to advance. It is a great means of profiting yourself, to copy diligently excellent pieces and beautiful designs. – Dryden.