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1957, in reference to automobile wheels, from low (adj.) + profile (n.). General sense by 1970, American English, in reference to Nixon Administration policy of partial U.S. disengagement from burdensome commitments abroad.
: a low-profile discreetness
Inconspicuousness; recessiveness; modesty: He thought he'd do better with a low profile the first year or so (1960s+)
keep a low profile