Keep a low profile?

Hi again, Alan thanks for answering my question about zipping and zapping ;-).
I wanted to ask, what is the origin of the phrase to keep a low profile? I understand it means to avoid attracting attention to oneself but where does it stem from? I mean, what is meaning of the word profile in this context?

Hi FrankU,

You’re right in describing keep a low profile as trying not to attract attention. It comes from the idea that a profile is a sort of outline and if the outline is not raised, no-one sees you. For example if you arrive late at a theatre and your seat is near the front, you could bend down (literally keep a low profile) so that you’re not obstructing the view of the people in the audience.