Pro*fess" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Professed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Professing.] [F. prof├Ęs, masc., professe, fem., professed (monk or nun), L. professus, p. p. of profiteri to profess; pro before, forward + fateri to confess, own. See Confess.]

1. To make open declaration of, as of one's knowledge, belief, action, etc.; to avow or acknowledge; to confess publicly; to own or admit freely. "Hear me profess sincerely." Shak.

The best and wisest of them all professed
To know this only, that he nothing knew.

2. To set up a claim to; to make presence to; hence, to put on or present an appearance of.

I do profess to be no less than I seem.

3. To present to knowledge of, to proclaim one's self versed in; to make one's self a teacher or practitioner of, to set up as an authority respecting; to declare (one's self to be such); as, he professes surgery; to profess one's self a physician.

Pro*fess" (?), v. i. 1. To take a profession upon one's self by a public declaration; to confess. Drayton.

2. To declare friendship. [Obs.] Shak.