Pro file


the outline or contour of the human face, especially the face viewed from one side.
a picture or representation of the side view of a head.
an outlined view, as of a city or mountain.
an outline of an object, as a molding, formed on a vertical plane passed through the object at right angles to one of its principal horizontal dimensions.
a drawing or the like representing this.
Surveying. a vertical section of the ground surface taken parallel to a survey line. Compare cross section ( def 6 ). See diag. under contour map.
a verbal, arithmetical, or graphic summary or analysis of the history, status, etc., of a process, activity, relationship, or set of characteristics: a biochemical profile of a patient's blood; a profile of national consumer spending.
an informal biography or a concisely presented sketch of the life and character of a person.
a set of characteristics or qualities that identify a type or category of person or thing: a profile of a typical allergy sufferer.
the look, configuration, or lines of something: cars with a modern profile.
degree of noticeability; visibility.
Psychology. a description of behavioral and personality traits of a person compared with accepted norms or standards.
Theater. a flat stage property or scenic piece cut from a firm, thin material, as of beaverboard or plywood, and having an irregular edge resembling the silhouette of a natural object.
(in a gear) the outline of either end of a tooth.
Naval Architecture. a longitudinal elevation or section of a vessel. Compare outboard profile.
verb (used with object), profiled, profiling.
to draw a profile of.
to produce or present a history, description, or analysis of: The magazine will profile the candidate in its next issue.

1650–60; (noun) < Italian prof(f)ilo, noun derivative of profilare to delineate, outline, equivalent to pro- pro-1 + -filare, derivative of filo line, thread < Latin fīlum

profiler, noun
half-profile, noun

1. silhouette. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
profile (ˈprəʊfaɪl)
1.  a side view, outline, or representation of an object, esp of a human face or head
2.  a view or representation of an object, esp a building, in contour or outline
3.  a short biographical sketch of a subject
4.  a graph, table, or list of scores representing the extent to which a person, field, or object exhibits various tested characteristics or tendencies: a population profile
5.  a vertical section of soil from the ground surface to the parent rock showing the different horizons
6.  a.  a vertical section of part of the earth's crust showing the layers of rock
 b.  a representation of such a section
7.  the outline of the shape of a river valley either from source to mouth (long profile) or at right angles to the flow of the river (cross profile)
8.  to draw, write, or make a profile of
9.  to cut out a shape from a blank (as of steel) with a cutter
[C17: from Italian profilo, from profilare to sketch lightly, from pro-1 + Latin fīlum thread]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1656, "a drawing of the outline of anything," from It. profilo "a drawing in outline," from profilare "to draw in outline," from pro- "forth" + filare "draw out, spin," from L.L. filare "to spin, draw out a line," from filum "thread." Meaning "biographical sketch, character study" is from 1734. The verb
is 1715, "to represent in profile," from the noun. Meaning "to summarize a person in writing" is from 1948. Profiling in the racial/ethnic stereotyping sense is recorded from c.1991.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

profile pro·file (prō'fīl')

  1. A side view of an object or a structure, especially of the human head.

  2. A formal summary or analysis of data, often in the form of a graph or table, representing distinctive features or characteristics.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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