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See also: Profile and profilé




From French profil (a profile), from Italian profilo (a border), later also proffilo (a side-face, profile), from pro-, from Latin pro (before) + filo (a line, stroke, thread), from Latin filum (a thread); see file.



profile (countable and uncountable, plural profiles)

  1. (countable) The outermost shape, view, or edge of an object.
    His fingers traced the profile of the handle.
  2. (countable) The shape, view, or shadow of a person's head from the side; a side view.
    The brooch showed the profile of a Victorian woman.
  3. (countable) A summary or collection of information, especially about a person
    Law enforcement assembled a profile of the suspect.
  4. (countable) A specific space or field in which users can provide various types of personal information in software or Internet systems.
    I just updated my Facebook profile to show I got engaged.
  5. (uncountable) Reputation.
  6. (uncountable) The amount by which something protrudes.
    Choose a handle with a low profile so it does not catch on things.
  7. (uncountable) Prominence; noticeability.
    Acting is, by nature, profession in which one must keep a high profile.
  8. (archaeology) A smoothed (e.g., troweled or brushed) vertical surface of an excavation showing evidence of at least one feature or diagnostic specimen; the graphic recording of such as by sketching, photographing, etc.
  9. Character; totality of related characteristics; signature; status (especially in scientific, technical, or military uses).
    What's the thermal profile on that thing?
  10. (architecture) A section of any member, made at right angles with its main lines, showing the exact shape of mouldings etc.
  11. (civil engineering) A drawing exhibiting a vertical section of the ground along a surveyed line, or graded work, as of a railway, showing elevations, depressions, grades, etc.
  12. (military slang) An exemption from certain types of duties due to injury or disability.


Derived terms




profile (third-person singular simple present profiles, present participle profiling, simple past and past participle profiled)

  1. (transitive) To create a summary or collection of information about (a person, etc.).
  2. To act based on such a summary, especially one that is a stereotype; to engage in profiling.
  3. (transitive) To draw in profile or outline.
  4. (transitive, engineering) To give a definite form by chiselling, milling, etc.
  5. (computing, transitive) To measure the performance of various parts of (a program) so as to locate bottlenecks.
    • 2006, Dr. Dobb's Journal
      [] a complete and intuitive profiler that supports numerous types of profiling modes and profilable applications.


Further reading