keep a low profile 9

to keep a low profile: meaning and explanation

If you are keeping a low profile, then you are trying not to attract attention to yourself.

This is not the same as hiding – you just don’t want your presence to be too obvious. You are trying not to stand out. e.g. Despite being one of the most famous athletes in the world, when he is not competing he likes to keep a low profile and spend time with his family.

Imagine that your boss at work is in a very bad mood. You know that she will probably shout at someone at some point. To avoid this, you might keep a low profile – just do your normal tasks and avoid attracting her attention. If she doesn’t notice you, she is less likely to take her bad mood out on you.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: North America

I hadn’t to the , so best to a .
I hadn’t been invited to the , so I my best to a low profile.

…I hadn’t actually been invited to the wedding, so I tried my best to keep a low profile…

Notice the useful expression to try your best to do sth. e.g. We don’t mind if you fail the exam, as long as you have tried your best.

Notice the use of the past perfect in this sentence (“I hadn’t actually been invited…”). This is because this past action took place before the main action of the sentence, which is also in the past (“…I tried my best…”).

Discussion questions

Write your answers to these questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Can you remember a time when you had to keep a low profile? Did you manage not to attract attention to yourself?
  • Can you think of any famous people who keep a low profile in their day-to-day lives? Would you do the same if you were famous?

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

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lizChrisSveta TsalkovskaValentynagabrielatalaverac Recent comment authors
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Well, I can’t quite remember an occasion where I had had too keep a low profile. However, I can think of a famous person that I consider keeps a low profile, and it’s Barack Obama. From my viewpoint, he has been keeping a low profile as I no longer have heard from him, neither in the news nor in other media.


1) A long time ago, when I was working on a call center, I arrived late to work, so my boss nag me because of that. So I had to keep a low profile and tried my best in my callings to not make the problem bigger. 2) If I’m not wrong the last year, Obama travelled to my country, and he was seen buying in a store without security as he was a normal person… That’s great because he is modest If I were famous, I would obviously do the same, because of the end of the day… I… Read more »


I also know one famous person, who chose to KEEP A LOW PROFILE. He is Berners Lee, who invented http://www., but not all people know him.

Sveta Tsalkovska
Sveta Tsalkovska

What a great phase! 🙂 Love being on this website! Answering the question I guess we all keep a low profile from time to time. And sometimes it happens when I’m about to bump into a person who takes too much time by talking and talking and talking (at a party for instance). So to avoid this I try my best to keep a low profile 😉


Yes, all the time I try to keep a low profile, because of my character, and also I don’t like to be the central attention. One famous person that has a low profile is Leonardo Dicaprio, as an actor and other activities he tries to do, for example, gives messages about global warning, etc

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