profit

noun, often attributive
prof·​it | \ ˈprä-fət How to pronounce profit (audio) \

Definition of profit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a valuable return : gain
2 : the excess of returns over expenditure in a transaction or series of transactions especially : the excess of the selling price of goods over their cost
3 : net income usually for a given period of time
4 : the ratio of profit for a given year to the amount of capital invested or to the value of sales
5 : the compensation accruing to entrepreneurs for the assumption of risk in business enterprise as distinguished from wages or rent

profit

verb
profited; profiting; profits

Definition of profit (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to be of service or advantage : avail
2 : to derive benefit : gain
3 : to make a profit

transitive verb

: to be of service to : benefit

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Other Words from profit

Noun

profitless \ ˈprä-​fət-​ləs How to pronounce profitless (audio) \ adjective
profitwise \ ˈprä-​fət-​ˌwīz How to pronounce profitwise (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for profit

Synonyms: Noun

earnings, gain, lucre, net, payoff, proceeds, return

Synonyms: Verb

advantage, avail, benefit, help, serve

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Examples of profit in a Sentence

Noun

The company made a profit this year. Profits are up from last year. There was a rise in profits this year. The profits from CD sales were donated to charity. The organization is not run for profit. The film made $1,000,000 in profit. The book can be read with profit by anyone who wants to understand how the system works.

Verb

It would profit him to take some computer classes. The company has profited by selling its products online. He profited greatly from his investments. The island profits from tourism.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This is the morning of the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House gala, the annual fundraiser for the non-profit of the same name, a onetime settlement house on New York's Upper East Side that serves some 15,000 New Yorkers annually. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "See How 32 Designers Transform a Dining Room in Just a Few Hours," 3 May 2019 The regime profits while continuing to spread instability across the region and the world. WSJ, "The U.S. Sticks Up for Victims of Cuba’s Theft," 25 Apr. 2019 Scripps explains that this combo doesn't exactly equate to a very hefty profit margin in the long run, even though Faith Hill and Lisa Erspamer of the Oprah Winfrey Show have spots on the production team. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Kellie Pickler's Talk Show 'Pickler & Ben' Is Getting Cancelled and Fans Are Devastated," 13 Apr. 2019 Of course, as a business owner, West is acutely aware that the point of a business is to turn a profit. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "7 Influential People on Environmental Advocacy in the Beauty Industry," 22 Apr. 2019 Turning a profit gets much harder when there is less wind to begin with. Umair Irfan, Vox, "4 maps that show who’s being left behind in America’s wind-power boom," 28 Mar. 2019 The company hit its mid-year goal just a few hours after Musk’s deadline, and finally started turning a slight profit on the Model 3. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Tesla," 29 Dec. 2018 Further Reading Toyota’s new magnet won’t depend on some key rare-earth minerals A hedge fund recently bought Mountain Pass out of bankruptcy after several companies attempted to turn a profit from it. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Tariffs on Chinese rare-earth minerals create a sticky problem for US competitors," 30 Nov. 2018 This new approach provides Climeworks a way to develop its technology and remove some carbon dioxide from the air while still turning a profit at the same time. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "New Facility Aims to Convert 150 Tons of CO2 to Natural Gas Per Year," 5 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Healey said the lawsuit makes clear the role that Purdue’s executives and directors played in creating and profiting from the opioid crisis. Steve Leblanc, The Seattle Times, "Parents press Harvard to remove Sackler name from art museum," 12 Apr. 2019 How Facebook shamelessly sold out its users’ data, ignored their privacy, and profited. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Delete Your Account," 10 Feb. 2019 In one item, the talking, singing fish represents nostalgia, DIY hackery, and corporations taking independent developer ideas and turning it to profit. Dami Lee, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Gadgets," 30 Dec. 2018 Within a few years of creating the Anne Klein Company, her brand was projected to profit in the millions. Minna Shim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Anne Klein: The Legendary Designer Who Changed The Way American Women Dressed," 15 Oct. 2018 Now, days later, Musk has tweeted out a sarcastic message to the SEC: Musk has long waged a rhetorical war against shortsellers—investors who borrow shares of Tesla in order to profit if the price drops. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk isn’t on his Twitter leash yet, so he’s taunting the SEC," 4 Oct. 2018 The $17 billion hedge fund had been betting against McClatchy Co. by buying credit derivatives that would profit if the newspaper company’s fortunes sour, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Bloomberg.com, "Anchorage Caught Short in Chatham's McClatchy Trade," 2 May 2018 That difference pitted the farm lobby against the oil lobby in the battle for who would profit from the fuel additive mandated by a Clean Air Act that our automobiles’ computerization had already rendered unnecessary. star-telegram, "Gasoline: Pump Us Up?," 28 Apr. 2018 Koch officials declined to respond to the suggestion that the group's financial backers would profit from the outsourcing of veterans' care. chicagotribune.com, "How a Koch-backed veterans group gained influence in Trump's Washington," 8 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of profit

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for profit

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin profectus advance, profit, from proficere

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Statistics for profit

Last Updated

17 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for profit

The first known use of profit was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for profit

profit

noun

Financial Definition of profit

What It Is

Profit is the positive gain remaining for a business after all costs and expenses have been deducted from total sales. Profit is also referred to as the bottom line, net profit or net earnings.

How It Works

The formula for profit is:

Total Sales - Total Expenses = Profit

Here is some information about Company XYZ for last year:

Using the formula and the information above, we can calculate that Company XYZ's profit was:

$2,000,000 - $1,000,000 - $50,000 - $95,000 = $855,000

Why It Matters

Profit is one of the most important measurements in determining the health and success of a business.  However, the measurement of profit can vary and should be considered with other factors.

For example, profit varies greatly from company to company and from industry to industry. Because companies vary in size, it is often more appropriate to consider profit as a percentage of sales (profit margin) when comparing one company to another.  As well, varying accounting methods can greatly influence profit, and these changes may have little to do with a company's actual operations.

Changes in profit are the subject of much analysis. In general, high or rising profits are indicative of a successful business while low profits could suggest a myriad of problems, including inadequacies in customer or expense management.

Source: Investing Answers

profit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of profit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: money that is made in a business, through investing, etc., after all the costs and expenses are paid : a financial gain
formal : the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something

profit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of profit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get an advantage or benefit from something
: to be an advantage to (someone) : to help (someone)
: to earn or get money by or from something

profit

noun
prof·​it | \ ˈprä-fət How to pronounce profit (audio) \

Kids Definition of profit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the gain after all the expenses are subtracted from the total amount received Their business shows a profit of $100 a week.
2 : the gain or benefit from something She began to see the profit of exercising.

Other Words from profit

profitless \ -​ləs \ adjective

profit

verb
profited; profiting

Kids Definition of profit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get some good out of something : gain You'll profit from the experience.
2 : to be of use to (someone) The agreement profited us all.

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profit

noun
prof·​it

Legal Definition of profit

1 : gain in excess of expenditures: as
a : the excess of the selling price of goods over their cost
b : net income from a business, investment, or capital appreciation — compare earnings, loss
2 : a benefit or advantage from the use of property

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Comments on profit

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something valued as if it were money

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