Definition of profile in English:



  • 1An outline of something, especially a person's face, as seen from one side:

    ‘the man turned and she caught his profile’
    • ‘It turns heads with its front, side and rear profiles.’
    • ‘I came out of the shower not too long ago and looked at my side profile in the mirror.’
    • ‘I have been told that my side profile is less rotund.’
    • ‘She studied herself from the front, then turned to the side and inspected her profile.’
    • ‘I was speechless as I stared at the side profile of his face.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lynn was wearing too much makeup, like always, and her side profile made her nose look like it protruded too far out from the rest of her face.’
    • ‘The guy turned slightly and Rika managed to catch his side profile.’
    • ‘The side skirt profiles of the Haddonfield tables all rise in the center whereas this one drops.’
    • ‘Once he had finished dressing he stood in front of the mirror and smiled proudly at his side profile.’
    side view, outline, silhouette, contour, shape, form, figure, lines
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    1. 1.1 A vertical cross section of a structure:
      ‘skilfully made vessels with an S-shaped profile’
      • ‘It is likely that because of reflectance from the chamber walls the vertical profile of PPFD is altered, especially during episodes of direct sunshine.’
      • ‘Overall, the simulation secondary structure profiles closely resemble those of the crystal conformations.’
      • ‘Various vertical Z-sections and fluorescence profiles across the cells were analyzed.’
      • ‘Fig.4 A compares the profile from the crystal structure with the profiles from the expanded states, revealing a number of features.’
      • ‘The front contrasts with the vertical profile of the rear and its wide wings highlighted by elongated, horizontal lamps.’
      • ‘The profile is the cross-section of a wheel (looking head on).’
    2. 1.2Geography 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’
      • ‘The URSEIS seismic profile images the 2D crustal profile from the surface outcrop of the Dzhabyk batholith to the upper mantle.’
      • ‘The river profile and the integrity of the stream channel are not besmirched by watering stock, gravel mining or indiscriminate recreational use.’
      • ‘In the upper half of the shaft, there are sharp anterior and posterior ridges and a less significant lateral ridge, giving a triangular profile in cross section.’
      • ‘The Dzhabyk batholith crops out along the entire surface trace of the profile.’
      • ‘This assumption is reasonable because the maximum likelihood estimates of early Cretaceous and Neogene palaeogeothermal profiles are both similar to the present-day gradient.’
      • ‘Figure 5 compares observed topographic profiles of the plateau surface of north Oxfordshire to the predictions of the unloading model.’
      • ‘This provides a significant improvement on the dating of sand accumulation and dune migration through sampling at arbitrary depths, in vertical profiles through pits or boreholes.’
    3. 1.3 A flat outline piece of scenery on stage.
  • 2A short article giving a description of a person or organization:

    ‘a profile of a Texas tycoon’
    • ‘Even for the short profiles of the individual Pacific Islands nations and territories, not one of the authors is an indigenous Pacific Islander.’
    • ‘He also slides in short profiles of the key players, including Turner's nemesis Gerald Levin, who was then CEO of the new Time Warner AOL.’
    • ‘The Guardian also has a short profile, with some links to other articles…’
    • ‘The other article was a profile on noted Minneapolis artist Armajani and his newest exhibit.’
    • ‘There'll be at least an extra column every Thursday on our website, where track descriptions, driver profiles and results also will be found.’
    • ‘He wrote a short profile on each member of the panel that was on board the plane that evening.’
    • ‘Live Wire also contains backstage stories and profiles, including an article on Jon Marans as background for Old Wicked Songs.’
    • ‘His most recent feature article was a profile of Elaine Pagels in the November 2004 issue.’
    • ‘I was reading this Guardian article on customer profiles of supermarket shoppers, and it got me thinking about my own habits.’
    • ‘The idea is simple: 99 people, products, services or organizations that are remarkable, each with a short profile.’
    description, account, study, portrait, portrayal, depiction, rundown, sketch, outline
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    1. 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’
      • ‘His photo and blog profile complement an article that reveals 19 % of people never drink alcohol, 48 % of car drivers have had a drink before driving and 51 % believe drink driving is just as bad as having unprotected sex.’
      • ‘On fansites you often have a user profile where readers can see what job you do, what age you are, etc.’
      • ‘Of these, 10% say they have been caught by their boss or manager while surfing or responding to online profiles.’
      • ‘After installation, it will find your user profile, so that all your stored mail and addresses should appear automatically.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nearly half of those who have tried an online dating service (44%) have come across an online profile of someone they know, such as an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, when they were surfing through profiles.’
      • ‘Heck, make a profile and post on our messageboard.’
  • 3[in singular] The extent to which a person or organization attracts public notice:

    ‘raising the profile of women in industry’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We must also raise the public profile of the very severe problems of the arable sector, which are now putting the industry into a critical state.’
    • ‘Our overarching goal is to both provide a needed community service, and to raise the profile and public visibility of the Alabama State Nurses Association.’
    • ‘He's had an absolutely crucial role in raising the public profile of this.’
    • ‘The consortiums don't expect to earn money from these operations, but hope to raise the public profile of their groups.’
    • ‘They have raised the profile of public transport across a whole range of agencies.’
    • ‘The main result of all this will be to raise the public profile of blogging, which is all to the good.’
    • ‘Cam Walker, FoE's national liaison officer, discussed the need to raise the public profile of the environmental movement's victories.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The charity aims to highlight excellence and encourage best practice in teaching by raising the profile and public perception of the teaching profession.’
  • 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’
    • ‘The research was conducted to provide information on demographical profiles and to measure the tourist and economic impact potential of arts festivals in South Africa.’
    • ‘As such, Table 1 is used to summarize the previously reported findings and to provide a profile of the demographic characteristics of the sample.’
    • ‘The profile also records the patient's and family's intelligence, emotional balance and support.’
    • ‘This information was compiled with the quantitative data into profiles or briefing papers and used to convene cluster forums.’
    • ‘However, the profiles of the posterior probability distributions were proximate.’
    • ‘An analysis of this information helps create a profile of behavioral characteristics required for the position.’
    • ‘The formation of the proper duplex and triplex were ensured by their characteristic melting profiles and CD spectra.’
    • ‘Scientists may someday use such information to create genetic profiles of high-risk heart patients, he says.’
    • ‘The whole set of experimental reflectivity profiles recorded at different times is reported in Fig.5.’
    • ‘We showed that the autocorrelation profile not only contains information on diffusion timescales but also on relaxation timescales.’
    1. 4.1 A record of a person's psychological or behavioural characteristics, preferences, etc.:
      ‘they had been using personal details to build customer profiles’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An analysis of the behavioral questions on the survey provided a behavioral profile of the college women participants.’
      • ‘What type of information do, or should, profiles contain?’
      • ‘A diagnostic instrument, the NET evaluates student's academic and social skills and generates individual profiles in seven subtest areas yielding over thirty different scores.’
      • ‘This profile represents only a small segment of the people I've met in the field.’
      • ‘The teenagers' internalization and externalization indices depended on whether the emotional profile was based on the parent's point of view or the teen's.’


  • 1Describe (a person or organization) in a short article:

    ‘he was to profile a backbench MP’
    • ‘A sharp female journalist has profiled him as a misanthropic failure, not a truth-seeker but a preacher, his life shaped by a rivalry with God that has destroyed his family and friendships.’
    • ‘He was profiled in Los Angeles Magazine a couple of years ago in an article entitled ‘Is this the Most Hated Man in Hollywood?’’
    • ‘His own personal high point was profiling George VI for BBC2's Reputations - although the Thatcher series gained him most attention.’
    • ‘I intend to write an article profiling Chris Raab, co-star of the MTV reality show Jackass and most recently Viva La Bam.’
    • ‘I understand the primary focus of the article was to profile the artist and not to discuss a political situation in a third-world country.’
    • ‘Years ago I profiled him, prompting a complaint that I had described him as middle-class, since his father was a doctor.’
    • ‘Following in the footsteps of bloggers much bigger and better than myself, I am profiled in today's edition of Norm's weekly foray into the minds of men.’
    • ‘Time magazine profiled her among 100 of the world's leaders.’
    • ‘The article profiled Charles River Laboratories and gave the impression that the company is increasing its efforts at developing and marketing nonanimal tests.’
    • ‘We started profiling him here on ‘America's Most Wanted.’’
    describe, write about, write an article about, give an account of, characterize, portray, depict, outline, sketch
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  • 2Represent in outline from one side:

    ‘he was standing motionless, profiled on the far side of the swimming pool’
    1. 2.1be profiled Have a specified shape in outline:
      ‘a proud bird profiled like a phoenix’
    2. 2.2 Shape (something), especially by means of a tool guided by a template:
      ‘profiled and plain tiles’
      • ‘It undergoes extrusion and is then transformed into flat or profiled (patterned strips) products.’
      • ‘Crash barriers are made from precisely-tensioned steel wire, or from steel sheet that has been profiled into a ‘corrugated’ shape.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This elegant edgy little piece of the interchange jigsaw has a glass roof supported by a pyramidal steel structure and profiled concrete columns.’
      • ‘The flat sections are of profiled sheet metal decks, with some form of insulating board overlay and built up felt covering.’


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).