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Profess, 1) to declare openly and earnestly, to assure, to avow: “crown what I p. with kind event if I speak true,” Tp. III, 1, 69. “he --es to have received no sinister measure,” Meas. III, 2, 256. “Angelo hath to the public ear --ed the contrary,” IV, 2, 103. “since you do p. to be a suitor,” Shr. I, 2, 272. “let me hear what you p.” Wint. IV, 4, 380. “I do p. you speak not like yourself,” H8 II, 4, 84. “think us those we p., peace-makers, friends,” III, 1, 167. I p. you have it (your wish) III, 2, 44. “I do p. that for your highness' good I ever laboured more than mine own,” III, 2, 44 “hear me p. sincerely,” Cor. I, 3, 24. “to your --ed bosoms I commit him,” Lr. I, 1, 275 (your declared, avowed sentiments). so much (duty) “I challenge that I may p. due to the Moor,” Oth. I, 3, 188. “where, I confess, I slept not, but p. had that was well worth watching,” Cymb. II, 4, 67. Refl. == to declare, to pretend to be: “whether dost thou p. thyself, a knave or a fool?” All's IV, 5, 23. “who p. myself your loyal servant,” Wint. II, 3, 53. “the day almost itself --es yours,” Mcb. V, 7, 27. “I p. myself an enemy to all other joys,” Lr. I, 1, 74. cf. Lr. I, 1, 74 “such a one do I p. myself,” Oth. I, 1, 55. “I have --ed me thy friend,” I, 3, 342. “I p. myself her adorer,” Cymb. I, 4, 73. “I now p. myself the winner of her honour,” II, 4, 53. Partic. --ed == declared, avowed: “a --ed tyrant to their sex,” Ado I, 1, 170. “my friend --ed,” Rom. III, 3, 50. “thieves --ed,” Tim. IV, 3, 429.
2) to avow, to acknowledge, to declare adherence to the dictates (of a person or a duty): “I p. requital,” Wiv. IV, 2, 3 (declare it to be my duty). “by the saint whom I p.” Meas. IV, 2, 192. Refl. == to own to be: “so we p. ourselves the slaves of chance,” Wint. IV, 4, 550. “that I p. myself in banqueting to all the rout,” Caes. I, 2, 77 (perhaps == unbosom myself to all the rout by constantly saying: I p. myself such or such a one)
Hence absol.: == to declare friendship: “dishonoured by a man which ever --ed to him,” Wint. I, 2, 456.
3) to set up for, to make it one's business or trade: “she --es a hot-house,” Meas. II, 1, 66 (Elbow's speech). “how long have you --ed apprehension?” Ado III, 4, 68. I p. curing it (love) “by counsel,” As III, 2, 425. Shr. IV, 2, 8. All's II, 1, 105. IV, 3, 282. H4A V, 2, 92. Troil. III, 3, 270. Mcb. IV, 1, 50. Lr. I, 4, 12. Per. IV, 6, 189. With an inf.: “he only --es to persuade,” Tp. II, 1, 236. “rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which --ed to make him rejoice,” Meas. III, 2, 250. “I do p. to be no less than I seem,” Lr. I, 4, 14.
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