Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
by 1852 as a term in field engineering, verbal noun from profile (v.). The racial/ethnic stereotyping sense is attested from c.1991, American English.
1650s, "a drawing of the outline of anything," from older Italian profilo "a drawing in outline," from profilare "to draw in outline," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + filare "draw out, spin," from Late Latin filare "to spin, draw out a line," from filum "thread" (see file (v.)). Meaning "a side view" is from 1660s. Meaning "biographical sketch, character study" is from 1734.
profile pro·file (prō'fīl')
A side view of an object or a structure, especially of the human head.
A formal summary or analysis of data, often in the form of a graph or table, representing distinctive features or characteristics.