profile

1 of 2

noun

pro·​file ˈprō-ˌfī(-ə)l How to pronounce profile (audio)
plural profiles
1
: a representation of something in outline
especially : a human head or face represented or seen in a side view
The first coins featuring King Charles's profile have been issued by the Royal Mint … Jessica Knibbs
There were … larger spaces of bare wall ornamented with charcoal sketches, chiefly of people's heads in profile. Nathaniel Hawthorne
By the moonlight, Lady Dedlock can be seen in profile, perfectly still. Charles Dickens
2
: an outline seen or represented in sharp relief : contour
"The main features of the design have to do with its site in the foothills of very beautiful mountains. The profile is a jagged line of silhouettes behind this building. We felt it was important to not compete with the majestic profile of these mountains," [Audrey] Matlock says.Denise Kalette
3
: a side or sectional elevation: such as
a
: a drawing showing a vertical section of the ground
b
: a vertical section of a soil from the ground surface to the underlying unweathered material
4
: a set of data often in graphic form portraying the significant features of something
They will then evaluate the fundamental characteristics of those stocks, such as earnings profiles and valuations. …Perle Battistella
especially : a graph representing the extent to which an individual exhibits traits or abilities as determined by tests or ratings
5
a
: a concise biographical sketch
The Vanity Fair feature, a profile of [Amy] Poehler and [Maya] Rudolph, reports that "Wine Country" goes above and beyond that standard, with the film featuring zero straight men talking to each other.Kevin Slane
b
: a collection of personal details about oneself that one curates and shares on an online platform (such as a blog or a social media service)
… when Anderson sat down that year to create an online-dating profile, she was strategic.Taffy Brodessr-Akner
They have left [their jobs] or are about to go, one into consultancy and a "career break" (according to her Linkedin profile), the other to become a partner at PWC.Katherine Griffiths
These short-term gigs fit into the time you have available, and are easy to find: simply go online to one of many sites designed to pair people with projects, and apply for jobs, advertise your skills, or set up a profile and offer your services for tasks that employers have posted.Donna Freedman
6
: degree or level of public exposure
Together, they helped bring Nashville's burgeoning noncountry scene to new prominence, and as the city's profile rose, so did their own.Dave Paulson
After leaving New York in 1990 all but broken following the failure of his hot spot Rakel, the chef kept a low profile in L.A. before eventually scraping together the money to buy a modest Napa Valley restaurant called The French Laundry.Jay Cheshes
7
: a distinctive combination of characteristics
The evolution of the scent profile, from floral and energetic to smoky and calm, makes this cologne a great choice for a date or an evening in the town.Will Briskin
What's striking about so many of the Santa Rita Pinots is that they share a flavor profile, with rich, vivid blueberry and wild berry fruit.James Laube

profile

2 of 2

verb

profiled; profiling

transitive verb

1
: to represent in profile or by a profile : produce (as by drawing, writing, or graphing) a profile of
2
: to shape the outline of by passing a cutter around
3
: to subject to profiling
profiler noun
Choose the Right Synonym for profile

outline, contour, profile, silhouette mean the line that bounds and gives form to something.

outline applies to a line marking the outer limits or edges of a body or mass.

traced the outline of his hand

contour stresses the quality of an outline or a bounding surface as being smooth, jagged, curving, or sharply angled.

a car with flowing contours

profile suggests a varied and sharply defined outline against a lighter background.

a portrait of her face in profile

silhouette suggests a shape especially of a head or figure with all detail blacked out in shadow leaving only the outline clearly defined.

photograph in silhouette against a bright sky

Examples of profile in a Sentence

Noun His profile is very unusual. An image of the President's profile appears on the coin. I read a profile of her in a magazine. Verb The mayor was profiled in the magazine last month.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Picacho Peak State Park Looking like a giant stone sail, the distinctive profile of Picacho Peak was the belle of the ball during the 2023 superbloom. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 24 Feb. 2024 As Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of large enterprises are seeking to get more value out of their tools in a way that works uniquely for their organizations’ needs and risk profile, these types of platforms can be especially useful. Tony Bradley, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Another victim, Zoe Jade Hallam, accused Hardy of making a fake profile of her then-boyfriend's father and using it to send inappropriate messages to young girls. Jessica Sager, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 The Prologue’s long, low profile evokes a sporty wagon more than the more upright, practical look of Honda SUVs like the CR-V and Pilot. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 22 Feb. 2024 Both prosecutors have national profiles: Ms. Mitchell, a Republican, was tapped in 2018 to play a key role in the Senate confirmation hearings of one of Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominees. Chelsia Rose Marcius, New York Times, 21 Feb. 2024 The four purpose categories were used as a basis for making pseudo dating profiles. Jordyn Bradley, Fortune Well, 11 Feb. 2024 Is the plan to keep a low profile, hope for a win, and then hand the baton to Vice President Kamala Harris? Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 10 Feb. 2024 Before joining TikTok, Puris held top leadership roles at Meta, Google, and ad giant BBDO, according to her LinkedIn profile. Alexandra Sternlicht, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024
Verb
Mitchell is no stranger to high profile political battles, having been hired by Senate Republicans to lead the questioning in the Supreme Court nomination fight that ended with Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation in 2018. David K. Li, NBC News, 21 Feb. 2024 The 37-year-old breakout, who, for her turn as Mollie in Martin Scorsese’s drama, became the first Indigenous American to be nominated for an acting Oscar, was profiled by The New Yorker on Feb. 4. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Feb. 2024 Ritchie, who had moved with her husband to his family farm, felt profiled. Jack Herrera, Los Angeles Times, 19 Jan. 2024 Bates was profiled as the next big thing, being compared to Magic, Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Jared Ramsey, Detroit Free Press, 19 Jan. 2024 In December, the Arena Group fired Sports Illustrated’s CEO Ross Levinsohn after an embarrassing debacle in which Sports Illustrated was caught publishing stories with fake author names and profile photos generated by artificial intelligence. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 19 Jan. 2024 The Washington Post provided the Israeli military with a list of the seven journalists profiled in this story and the circumstances of their deaths. Joe Snell, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 Each episode profiles a single environmental visionary, such as 32-year-old engineer, Nzambi Matee, who founded Gjenge Makers, a company that recycles plastic waste into paving bricks. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 Taniguchi also highlights a troubling norm -- that some police forces routinely profile minorities, despite constitutional prohibitions against racial discrimination. Anthony Trotter, ABC News, 2 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'profile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Italian profilo, from profilare to draw in outline, from pro- forward (from Latin) + filare to spin, from Late Latin — more at file

First Known Use

Noun

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of profile was in 1638

Dictionary Entries Near profile

Cite this Entry

“Profile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profile. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

profile

1 of 2 noun
pro·​file ˈprō-ˌfīl How to pronounce profile (audio)
1
: a head or face seen or drawn from the side
2
: something seen in outline
3
: a vertical section of soil that shows the various layers
4
: a set of data often in the form of a graph that shows the important characteristics of something
read her psychological profile
5
: level of activity that attracts attention
tried to keep a low profile

profile

2 of 2 verb
profiled; profiling
1
: to represent in profile
2
: to produce a profile of

Medical Definition

profile

1 of 2 noun
pro·​file ˈprō-ˌfīl How to pronounce profile (audio)
1
: a set of data exhibiting the significant features of something and often obtained by multiple tests
the profile of CK isoenzymes in skeletal muscleA. J. Siegel & D. M. Dawson
2
: a graphic representation of the extent to which an individual or group exhibits traits as determined by tests or ratings
this group did not give a homogeneous personality profileDiseases of the Nervous System

profile

2 of 2 transitive verb
profiled; profiling
: to represent in profile or by a profile : produce a profile of (as by writing or graphing)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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