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

Ten percent of profits from the Olivia Palermo x Westward Leaning collection will be donated to the cause. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Olivia Palermo Designed a Collection to Save Us From the Tiny Sunglasses Trend," 12 Mar. 2019 In total, the event earned a profit of £186,000 — tens of millions of pounds when adjusted for inflation. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The True Story of Prince Albert's Great Exhibition," 4 Mar. 2019 In the hit series, Alison and lead contractor Donovan Eckhardt buy and renovate vintage fixer uppers in historic Chicago neighborhoods to sell for a profit. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Why Windy City Rehab's Alison Victoria Is the Woman to Watch on HGTV," 4 Mar. 2019 Related Coverage Party City said its total gross profit margin fell 0.2 percentage points to 40.6% in 2018 due to higher freight and distribution costs and increased pressure from commodity prices, including higher helium costs. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "Party City CFO to Leave for Edgewell Personal Care," 28 Feb. 2019 The idea was that the shortages would be made up by AMD—but AMD CEO Lisa Su didn’t seem particularly interested in low-end products, either, now that AMD has the rich taste of profits in its mouth. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Surface sales soar to nearly $2 billion, though chip shortages are hurting," 31 Jan. 2019 All proceeds from the auction will benefit Bottura's non-profit Food for Soul. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Chef Massimo Bottura Is Debuting a Luxury Scotch for Charity," 28 Feb. 2019 The evening marked a special occasion for Middleton, who was the Honor Gala Chair of the non-profit organization's charity event. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Pippa Middleton Stuns in Colorful Temperley London Gown for Night Out," 27 Feb. 2019 Intel’s fourth quarter, by the numbers Intel disappointed Wall Street by reporting $5.2 billion in profits, compared to $18.7 billion in revenue. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel addresses processor shortages, CEO hunt after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results," 24 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But jails also profit more directly from limiting in-person visits. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Jails are replacing visits with video calls—inmates and families hate it," 14 May 2018 But researchers spotted brief gaps between the best available price nationally and the best price on specific exchanges, a divergence that gives high-speed traders a chance to profit. Cezary Podkul, WSJ, "Brief Price Gaps in Stocks Cost Investors $2 Billion a Year," 14 Feb. 2019 Yes, there would be class-action lawyers seeking to profit. David Lazarus, latimes.com, "Businesses really, really don't like this privacy bill, which is why you should," 22 May 2018 And people in the lightening industry are reinforcing this idea as well as profiting from it, as Power perhaps unwittingly demonstrated in our conversation. E.j. Dickson, Vox, "The dangerous rise of vaginal lightening," 6 Dec. 2018 Facebook, a driver of our fractious political debate, can be seen as profiting from the fallout. Christopher Mims, WSJ, "Political Reality: Buy Ads on Facebook or Risk Losing the Election," 2 Nov. 2018 Blue Origin is profiting from the retirement of the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV, which first experienced flight in 2002. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin to Work With Air Force Under New Contract," 11 Oct. 2018 Other armed groups have carved out fiefdoms across the country, with many profiting from smuggling and extortion. Samy Magdy, The Seattle Times, "Libya says death toll from Tripoli clashes climbs to 61," 4 Sep. 2018 The hotel has been a focus of lawsuits against the president and ethics watchdogs who say Trump is violating the Constitution by profiting from his office as diplomats spend big money there. NBC News, "New financial disclosure shows growing Jared Kushner wealth, debt," 12 June 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

22 Mar 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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