profit

noun, often attributive
prof·​it | \ ˈprä-fət \

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 \ adjective
profitwise \ ˈprä-​fət-​ˌwīz \ 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

Despite the delays, the long hours, and the overextension of the company’s CEO, Tesla made and delivered enough Model 3s to contribute to a $311 million profit. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Tesla," 29 Dec. 2018 Ahead of the midterm elections, designers like Tory Burch and Prabal Gurung made VOTE merch that gave all profits back to the Rock the Vote organization. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "From Runway Protests to A #MeToo Blackout, Here Are 12 Ways Fashion Tried to Change The World in 2018," 19 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg, corporate profits have been approaching record highs after a steady upward trend from the Great Depression of the 1930s. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Elizabeth Warren Called Out the "Rigged" U.S. Economic System During an HBCU Commencement Speech," 17 Dec. 2018 But since early 2016, parent company L Brands has reported quarter after quarter of declining sales and shrinking profits. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "What's Holding Victoria's Secret Back From Body Diversity on the Runway?," 9 Nov. 2018 October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means a portion of the profit proceeds of the beauty products below will go to breast cancer screening, treatment, and research. Jesa Marie Calaor, Allure, "9 Beauty Products Supporting 2018's Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and How Much They're Donating)," 11 Oct. 2018 The company has promised to pay out 85% of net profit as dividends, versus 40% to 50% for its rivals, giving it an eye-catching yield of more than 5%. Jacky Wong, WSJ, "SoftBank May Regret Its Big IPO Payday," 19 Dec. 2018 Most of the t-shirts benefitted a charity: Proenza Schouler’s shirts supported the gun safety group Everytown while 100 percent of the profits from Tory Burch and Prabal Gurung’s tees went directly to Rock the Vote. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "From Runway Protests to A #MeToo Blackout, Here Are 12 Ways Fashion Tried to Change The World in 2018," 19 Dec. 2018 Although black consumers spend $1.2 trillion every year, companies often underestimate how much their brands depend on black consumers, and are therefore less inclined to reinvest their profits in those communities, explains Evans. Morgen Peck, Glamour, "Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys' Club," 11 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More brands are working to profit off expressing social and political values. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "What one pastor’s anti-Nike protest says about religion and nationalism in America," 14 Sep. 2018 In January 2017, a movement to delete Uber started after the ride-hailing company was accused of trying to profit off protests at airports following Trump’s executive order banning some refugees and immigrants. Anna Orso, Philly.com, "To keep data private, frustrated Philly users delete Facebook," 21 Mar. 2018 In 2012, the pharmaceutical company Amgen bought the database and now profits from the insights gleaned from it. Mason Marks, STAT, "DNA donors must demand stronger protection for genetic privacy," 30 May 2018 Increasingly, this leaves you vulnerable to hacks, companies profiting from your data and online behavior, and mass government surveillance. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Review: Helm Personal Server gets email self-hosting (almost) exactly right," 4 Dec. 2018 My experience allowed me to see the ugliness of what the skin-whitening industry really is: companies profiting from and perpetuating self-hatred. Melissa Pandika, The Cut, "Before I Embraced My Brownness, I Tried to Lighten My Skin," 31 Jan. 2018 Should Democrats take Congress in 2018 — a development that appears more likely than not — damaging investigations into the Trump family’s shameless attempts to profit off the presidency will surely follow. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Oprah Should Run – for Governor of Wisconsin," 9 Jan. 2018 In other words, Sears’s former CEO and current chair of the board owns the hedge fund that is helping renegotiate its bankruptcy, and will likely be profiting off the company’s debts. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Sears has filed for bankruptcy, but that doesn’t mean it’s shutting down," 15 Oct. 2018 It can also be used to drive users towards certain services, typically ones that the throttler stands to profit from in one way or another. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study Shows Just How Mobile Providers Throttle Your Internet," 11 Sep. 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

11 Jan 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

: 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 \

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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