profile (n.)

1650s, "a drawing of the outline of anything," especially "a representation of the human face in side view," from older Italian profilo "a drawing in outline," from profilare "to draw in outline," from pro "forth" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward") + filare "draw out, spin," from Late Latin filare "to spin, draw out a line," from filum "thread" (from PIE root *gwhi- "thread, tendon"). Meaning "a side view" is from 1660s. Meaning "biographical sketch, character study" is from 1734.

profile (v.)

1715, "to represent in profile, draw with a side view," from profile (n.) or Italian profilare. Meaning "to summarize a person in writing" is from 1948. Related: Profiled; profiling.

updated on November 28, 2020