Abstract On the basis of Born-Green-Yvon integral equations for the density distribution functions, an approximate integral equation is established for the profile of the surface of the drop. Numerical solutions and analytical solutions for limiting cases are obtained for this profile. Equations relating the angle at the leading edge and in its vicinity to parameters characterizing the interaction forces between the molecules of the liquid and between those of the liquid and solid are derived for large and for very small drops on a horizontal solid surface. One concludes that there is a rapid spatial variation of shape near the leading edge, that for large drops the measured macroscopic wetting angle is reached at a distance of about 20 to 40 Å from the leading edge, and that for very small drops the wetting angle is weakly size dependent. A condition for drop stability is established, which if not satisfied, the liquid will spread over the surface of the solid.