adjective, pro·found·er, pro·found·est.

  1. penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding: a profound thinker.
  2. originating in or penetrating to the depths of one’s being; profound grief.
  3. being or going far beneath what is superficial, external, or obvious: profound insight.
  4. of deep meaning; of great and broadly inclusive significance: a profound book.
  5. pervasive or intense; thorough; complete: a profound silence.
  6. extending, situated, or originating far down, or far beneath the surface: the profound depths of the ocean.
  7. low: a profound bow.

noun Literary.

  1. something that is profound.
  2. the deep sea; ocean.
  3. depth; abyss.


  1. penetrating deeply into subjects or ideasa profound mind
  2. showing or requiring great knowledge or understandinga profound treatise
  3. situated at or extending to a great depth
  4. reaching to or stemming from the depths of one’s natureprofound regret
  5. intense or absoluteprofound silence
  6. thoroughgoing; extensiveprofound changes


  1. archaic, or literary a great depth; abyss

adj.c.1300, “characterized by intellectual depth,” from Old French profund (12c., Modern French profond), from Latin profundus “deep, bottomless, vast,” also “obscure; profound; immoderate,” from pro- “forth” (see pro-) + fundus “bottom” (see fund (n.)). The literal and figurative senses both were in Latin, but English, having already deep, employed this word primarily in its figurative sense. Related: Profoundly.

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