- the use of personal characteristics or behavior patterns to make generalizations about a person, as in gender profiling.
- the use of these characteristics to determine whether a person may be engaged in illegal activity, as in racial profiling.
- the practice of categorizing people and predicting their behaviour according to particular characteristics such as race or ageracial profiling
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.