Definition of profile in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈprəʊfʌɪl/


1An outline of something, especially a person’s face, as seen from one side: the man turned and she caught his profile
More example sentences
  • The guy turned slightly and Rika managed to catch his side profile.
  • Germany's Bild newspaper accused Mercedes of copying its Munich-based rival and published pictures of the two cars' interiors, tails and side profiles, asking readers to spot the difference.
  • It turns heads with its front, side and rear profiles.
side view, outline, silhouette, contour, shape, form, figure, lines
1.1A vertical cross section of a structure: skilfully made vessels with an S-shaped profile
More example sentences
  • Fig.4 A compares the profile from the crystal structure with the profiles from the expanded states, revealing a number of features.
  • It is likely that because of reflectance from the chamber walls the vertical profile of PPFD is altered, especially during episodes of direct sunshine.
  • Various vertical Z-sections and fluorescence profiles across the cells were analyzed.
1.2 Geography An outline of part of the earth’s surface, e.g. the course of a river, as seen in a vertical section: in soft rocks a profile drawn normally to the beach would show a concave form comparable with the long profile of a river
More example sentences
  • The Dzhabyk batholith crops out along the entire surface trace of the profile.
  • The URSEIS seismic profile images the 2D crustal profile from the surface outcrop of the Dzhabyk batholith to the upper mantle.
  • Figure 5 compares observed topographic profiles of the plateau surface of north Oxfordshire to the predictions of the unloading model.
1.3A flat outline piece of scenery on stage.
2A short article giving a description of a person or organization: a profile of a Texas tycoon
More example sentences
  • The Guardian also has a short profile, with some links to other articles…
  • The idea is simple: 99 people, products, services or organizations that are remarkable, each with a short profile.
  • He wrote a short profile on each member of the panel that was on board the plane that evening.
description, account, study, portrait, portrayal, depiction, rundown, sketch, outline
2.1(On a social media website or application) a user’s summary of their personal details or current situation: he posted the pictures on his Facebook profile
More example sentences
  • Ever since we set up the Londonist personals service we've been keeping a close eye on the portraits people have been uploading to their profiles.
  • Heck, make a profile and post on our messageboard.
  • This is where you can look at your profile, including address and other contact information, change your preferences, look at your purchase history, funds into your account, and manage any labels or artists you may have listed.
3 [in singular] The extent to which a person or organization attracts public notice: raising the profile of women in industry
More example sentences
  • The Teaching Awards Trust's mission is to highlight excellence and encourage best practice in teaching, and in doing so, to raise the profile and public perception of the teaching profession.
  • Cam Walker, FoE's national liaison officer, discussed the need to raise the public profile of the environmental movement's victories.
  • In a speech this evening, Mr Blunkett was revealing that he and Attorney General Lord Goldsmith had been looking at ways of raising the profile of local senior public prosecutors.
4A graphical or other representation of information relating to particular characteristics of something, recorded in quantified form: a sleep profile for someone on a shift system
More example sentences
  • An analysis of this information helps create a profile of behavioral characteristics required for the position.
  • As such, Table 1 is used to summarize the previously reported findings and to provide a profile of the demographic characteristics of the sample.
  • We showed that the autocorrelation profile not only contains information on diffusion timescales but also on relaxation timescales.
4.1A record of a person’s psychological or behavioural characteristics, preferences, etc. they had been using personal details to build customer profiles
More example sentences
  • An analysis of the behavioral questions on the survey provided a behavioral profile of the college women participants.
  • This profile represents only a small segment of the people I've met in the field.
  • The fact that the scientific community had not developed a profile for the particular offender did not impact on the application of the Mohan test.


[with object]
1Describe (a person or organization) in a short article: he was to profile a backbench MP
More example sentences
  • I intend to write an article profiling Chris Raab, co-star of the MTV reality show Jackass and most recently Viva La Bam.
  • The article profiled Charles River Laboratories and gave the impression that the company is increasing its efforts at developing and marketing nonanimal tests.
  • Years ago I profiled him, prompting a complaint that I had described him as middle-class, since his father was a doctor.
describe, write about, write an article about, give an account of, characterize, portray, depict, outline, sketch
2Represent in outline from one side: he was standing motionless, profiled on the far side of the swimming pool
2.1 (be profiled) Have a specified shape in outline: a proud bird profiled like a phoenix
2.2Shape (something), especially by means of a tool guided by a template: (as adjective profiled) profiled and plain tiles
More example sentences
  • The portable machine, which emits intense heat to cut the metal, is to be aimed at small metal fabrication companies all around the world, who have to commission specialist profiling companies to carry out their cutting.
  • Crash barriers are made from precisely-tensioned steel wire, or from steel sheet that has been profiled into a ‘corrugated’ shape.
  • This elegant edgy little piece of the interchange jigsaw has a glass roof supported by a pyramidal steel structure and profiled concrete columns.


in profile

(In reference to someone’s face) as seen from one side: a photograph of Leon in profile
More example sentences
  • This auburn light danced and glinted on my companion's drooping gold earrings as we surveyed the cars below, and held his face in profile as if he might only be a photograph.
  • Underwood Side View shows a stately old typewriter in profile, exposing its logical yet formally ornate internal mechanism.
  • In one photograph, she stands in profile holding a large kitchen knife.



Example sentences
  • But in treating Jay's fall lightly I may be making the elementary error of most profilists.
  • Last night our criminal profilist Shanelle Parkerson was murdered.
  • Just because your title is criminal profilist doesn't mean I couldn't figure that out myself.


Mid 17th century: from obsolete Italian profilo, from the verb profilare, from pro- 'forth' + filare 'to spin', formerly 'draw a line' (from Latin filare, from filum 'thread').

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pro|file

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