a. The declaration, promise, or vow made by a person entering a religious order; (hence) the action of entering such an order; the fact or occasion of being professed in a religious order.
b. Any solemn declaration, promise, or vow.
†3. Particular character, nature, or condition. Also: a person's disposition. Obsolete. rare.
a. The declaration of belief in and obedience to religion, or of acceptance of and conformity to the faith and principles of any religious community; (hence) the faith or religion which a person professes.
5. The action or an act of declaring, affirming, or avowing an opinion, belief, custom, etc., or of laying open claim to a particular quality or feeling. In later use sometimes with suggestion of insincerity or falsity, or with implied contrast to practice or fact: cf. profess v. 3a, professed adj. 2.
†6. Roman History. The public registration of people and property. Obsolete.
a. An occupation in which a professed knowledge of some subject, field, or science is applied; a vocation or career, especially one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification. Also occasionally as mass noun: occupations of this kind.In early use applied spec. to the professions of law, the Church, and medicine, and sometimes extended also to the military profession.
b. More widely: any occupation by which a person regularly earns a living. N.E.D. (1908) notes: ‘Now usually applied to an occupation considered to be socially superior to a trade or handicraft; but formerly, and still in vulgar (or humorous) use, including these.’
c. by profession: by way of an occupation; professionally.
d. The body of people engaged in a particular occupation or calling; sometimes with defining word, as legal, medical, etc.With the: actors or other performing artists collectively.
e. euphem. and humorous. = prostitution n. 1. Frequently in oldest profession n. at oldest adj. Special uses.
8. Chiefly Sc. The function or office of professor in a university or college; a professorship. Also: public teaching by a professor. Obsolete.
† profession-book n. Obsolete
† profession-ring n. Obsolete
ˈprofession-like adj. rare
► indicates date of composition for this text (as opposed to date of documentary evidence). More