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. 2019
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