pro·​file | \ ˈprō-ˌfī(-ə)l How to pronounce profile (audio) \

Essential Meaning of profile

1 : the shape of a head or face that is seen or drawn from the side His profile is very unusual. An image of the President's profile appears on the coin. The drawing showed her head in profile. [=the drawing showed the shape of her head as it is seen from the side]
2 : the shape of something that is seen against a background
3 : a brief written description that provides information about someone or something I read a profile of her in a magazine. patient profiles profiles of American colleges

Full Definition of profile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a representation of something in outline especially : a human head or face represented or seen in a side view
2 : an outline seen or represented in sharp relief : contour
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 a corporation's earnings profile especially : a graph representing the extent to which an individual exhibits traits or abilities as determined by tests or ratings
5 : a concise biographical sketch
6 : degree or level of public exposure trying to keep a low profile a job with a high profile


profiled; profiling

Definition of profile (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from profile


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Paulson and Taylor, who have been dating for six years, keep a relatively low profile when out together. Alexia Fernández,, 25 Nov. 2021 Zhang has kept a low profile and faded from public life since his retirement in 2018, and there is no public information relating to his current whereabouts. Helen Regan, CNN, 23 Nov. 2021 But unlike many operatives who have broken into those inner sanctums, Gaspard retains a low public profile. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 22 Nov. 2021 The election was low-profile, with only three local property tax levies appearing on the ballot, and only about 6,200 voters participating. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 22 Nov. 2021 Harris’ allies are especially frustrated that Biden seems to have limited the vice president to a low-profile role with a difficult policy portfolio — led by voting rights and immigration. Steve Peoples,, 21 Nov. 2021 Rittenhouse aspires to be a nurse and Richards urged his client to keep a low profile. NBC News, 19 Nov. 2021 China kept a low profile for much of the two-week climate summit in Glasgow, but in the final hours fought hard along with India to dilute the wording around coal in the Glasgow Pact. Aurora Almendral, Quartz, 18 Nov. 2021 Campbell, who is from the Bronx and a graduate of Parsons School of Design, admits to deliberately keeping a low profile. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 17 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Perdue was a Michigan local who attended the University of Dallas and worked as a realtor since 2012, according to his company profile. Peter Aitken, Fox News, 14 Nov. 2021 About a year later he was assigned to profile the Patriots’ quarterback, who, like Wickersham, was a 24-year-old just trying to make it in the game. Mark Selig, Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2021 But later that year, a reporter from Good Housekeeping called, wanting to profile her. Marin Cogan, The New Republic, 11 Oct. 2021 Hale was a Salt Lake City, Utah native, born on December 27, 1938, and raised in Darien, Connecticut, according to her IMDb profile. Naledi Ushe,, 28 Sep. 2021 The Vanderbilt heir collaborates with the historian/novelist to profile his family’s dynasty. The California Independent Booksellers Alliance, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2021 The findings serve to identify and profile the nature of the trust between companies, employees, and consumers. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 24 Sep. 2021 Our local law enforcement officials want to be focused on responding to issues in our neighborhoods, and not profile and detain individuals who appear to be here illegally. Sharon Coolidge, The Enquirer, 10 Aug. 2021 That’s the context for a poignant dispatch by my colleague Hailey Branson-Potts, who traveled to Fort Bragg to profile Capt. Los Angeles Times, 2 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of profile


1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for profile


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

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Time Traveler for profile

Time Traveler

The first known use of profile was in 1638

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Dictionary Entries Near profile



profile board

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Profile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for profile


pro·​file | \ ˈprō-ˌfīl How to pronounce profile (audio) \

Kids Definition of profile

1 : something (as a head or a mountain) seen or drawn from the side
2 : a level of activity that draws attention As an actress, she can't avoid a high profile.


pro·​file | \ ˈprō-ˌfīl How to pronounce profile (audio) \

Medical Definition of profile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a set of data exhibiting the significant features of something and often obtained by multiple tests the profile of CK isoenzymes in skeletal muscle— A. 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


transitive verb
profiled; profiling

Medical Definition of profile (Entry 2 of 2)

: to represent in profile or by a profile : produce a profile of (as by writing or graphing)


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