- 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- government activity directed at a suspect or group of suspects based solely on race
- the practice of categorizing people and predicting their behaviour according to particular characteristics such as race or ageracial profiling
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper