Never before had statesmen and philosophers laid so much stress on the importance of any and all men. Never before had they professed to take so little account of.

A Longman dictionary says that 'profess' means you say something when it is not true. But it does not make sense to me.

This comes from the book 'The Modern Views of Man' written by J.W. Krutch.

  • Could you add a link to the definition you are referring to? – user3169 Feb 23 '16 at 21:26
  • 1
    That definition (saying something that's not true) is an unusual one. The most common meaning for profess is to state a position (usually publicly). – Era Feb 23 '16 at 21:37
  • 2
    @Era - I thought the same thing. One synonym for profess in this context might be claim. – J.R. Feb 23 '16 at 21:40

To profess is to declare something without ambiguity

He professed his love for her.
They professed their allegiance to the king.

Not sure why OP's definition has to do with lying.

| improve this answer | |
  • Google definition says "claim openly but often falsely that one has (a quality or feeling)" - which caught me by surprise. – LawrenceC Feb 23 '16 at 22:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.