1 of 2


prof·​it ˈprä-fət How to pronounce profit (audio)
often attributive
: a valuable return : gain
: 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
: net income usually for a given period of time
: the ratio of profit for a given year to the amount of capital invested or to the value of sales
: the compensation accruing to entrepreneurs for the assumption of risk in business enterprise as distinguished from wages or rent
profitless adjective
profitwise adverb


2 of 2


profited; profiting; profits

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to be of service to : benefit

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The Woonsocket, Rhode Island, company’s profit surged 76% in the quarter to $2.3 billion. Tom Murphy, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Feb. 2023 The ride-hailing company reported higher revenue and adjusted profit. WSJ, 8 Feb. 2023 Adjusted profit for the year will be $8.70 to $8.90 a share, the company said, reaffirming a forecast given last month. Michelle F. Davis,, 8 Feb. 2023 The French company posted annual profit of $36.2 billion for 2022, double the previous year’s earnings. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 8 Feb. 2023 Under Armour beat earnings and sales expectations in the third quarter and raised its profit outlook for the current fiscal year as footwear and international sales drove growth. Lorraine Mirabella, Baltimore Sun, 8 Feb. 2023 Fox said profit in the period attributable to shareholders came to $313 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with a loss of $85 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 8 Feb. 2023 From the railroad to real estate to fruit to radio components, settlers built pre-silicon Palo Alto on new ideas about how science yielded efficiency and profit. Malcolm Harris, The Atlantic, 8 Feb. 2023 In fact, data brokers derive significant profit from businesses whose whole purpose is identifying consumers who face financial instability. WIRED, 8 Feb. 2023
Investors will be looking for ways to profit from this game-changing technology, and the opportunities will be plentiful. - Powering A Personal Wealth Movement, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 In line with the slump in the crypto market, demand for virtual real estate has cooled off, leaving landowners looking for new ways to profit from their investments. WIRED, 18 Jan. 2023 In the creator economy, there is nothing more powerful than giving your followers the ability to profit. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 2 Nov. 2022 The investors would then take ownership of the claims and attempt to profit by investigating Mr. Jones’s assets and trying to recover as much of the original judgment as possible. Emily Steel, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 The system is intended to solve one of the great challenges of fighting climate change, creating a way for people with rights to the rainforest to profit from preserving it instead of knocking it down. Jon Emont, WSJ, 15 May 2022 Since the turn of the 20th century, there have been ever-expanding ways to profit off the future, as more and more areas of social life become terrains of speculative economic opportunity. Devon Powers, Wired, 30 Dec. 2021 The culprits range from internet scammers overseas who may not have ever stepped foot in the Bluegrass State to locals looking to profit off revelers. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 25 Jan. 2023 Last week’s bankruptcy filing by Genesis Global Capital marked yet another failure in the once-hot crypto lending space, where organizations tried to profit off loans tied to individual investors and institutional funds. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 23 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near profit

Cite this Entry

“Profit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
prof·​it ˈpräf-ət How to pronounce profit (audio)
: the gain or benefit from something
: the gain after all the expenses are subtracted from the amount received
profitless adjective


2 of 2 verb
: to get some good out of something : gain
profit by experience
: to be of use to (someone) : benefit
an agreement that profited us all

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on profit

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