- the use of personal characteristics or behavior patterns to make generalizations about a person, as in gender profiling.
- the use of these characteristics to determine whether a person may be engaged in illegal activity, as in racial profiling.
- the outline or contour of the human face, especially the face viewed from one side.
- a picture or representation of the side view of a head.
- an outlined view, as of a city or mountain.
- an outline of an object, as a molding, formed on a vertical plane passed through the object at right angles to one of its principal horizontal dimensions.
- a drawing or the like representing this.
- Surveying. a vertical section of the ground surface taken parallel to a survey line.Compare cross section(def 6).
- a verbal, arithmetical, or graphic summary or analysis of the history, status, etc., of a process, activity, relationship, or set of characteristics: a biochemical profile of a patient's blood; a profile of national consumer spending.
- an informal biography or a concisely presented sketch of the life and character of a person.
- Digital Technology. the personal details, images, user statistics, social media timeline, etc., that an individual creates and associates with a username or online account.
- a set of characteristics or qualities that identify a type or category of person or thing: a profile of a typical allergy sufferer.
- the look, configuration, or lines of something: cars with a modern profile.
- degree of noticeability; visibility.
- Psychology. a description of behavioral and personality traits of a person compared with accepted norms or standards.
- Theater. a flat stage property or scenic piece cut from a firm, thin material, as of beaverboard or plywood, and having an irregular edge resembling the silhouette of a natural object.
- (in a gear) the outline of either end of a tooth.
- Naval Architecture. a longitudinal elevation or section of a vessel.Compare outboard profile.
- to draw a profile of.
- to produce or present a history, description, or analysis of: The magazine will profile the candidate in its next issue.
Origin of profile
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for profiling
First on the to-do list, the profiling exercises to help the Western masses understand the nature of the wretched beast.ISIS and BS
October 15, 2014
Real-world profilers have to be careful, and are, not to indulge in facile ethnic, racial or religious “profiling.”Inside the Mind of an ISIS Jihadi
September 21, 2014
People are worried about profiling people for the color of their skin.Rand Paul’s Daddy Issues
July 28, 2014
An essential beginning to an investigation of this kind would be profiling of every passenger.Who Gagged the Search for MH370?
June 22, 2014
The Malaysians now say that nothing significant has been turned up from this profiling.MH370’s Black Boxes Are Dead but the Investigation Is Very Much Alive
April 14, 2014
- the practice of categorizing people and predicting their behaviour according to particular characteristics such as race or ageracial profiling
- a side view, outline, or representation of an object, esp of a human face or head
- a view or representation of an object, esp a building, in contour or outline
- a short biographical sketch of a subject
- a graph, table, or list of scores representing the extent to which a person, field, or object exhibits various tested characteristics or tendenciesa population profile
- a vertical section of soil from the ground surface to the parent rock showing the different horizons
- a vertical section of part of the earth's crust showing the layers of rock
- a representation of such a section
- the outline of the shape of a river valley either from source to mouth (long profile) or at right angles to the flow of the river (cross profile)
- to draw, write, or make a profile of
- to cut out a shape from a blank (as of steel) with a cutter
Word Origin and History for profiling
by 1852 as a term in field engineering, verbal noun from profile (v.). The racial/ethnic stereotyping sense is attested from c.1991, American English.
1650s, "a drawing of the outline of anything," from older Italian profilo "a drawing in outline," from profilare "to draw in outline," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + filare "draw out, spin," from Late Latin filare "to spin, draw out a line," from filum "thread" (see file (v.)). Meaning "a side view" is from 1660s. Meaning "biographical sketch, character study" is from 1734.
- A side view of an object or structure, especially of the human head.
- A formal summary or analysis of data, often in the form of a graph or table, representing distinctive features or characteristics.
Idioms and Phrases with profiling
see keep a low profile.