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

Synonyms: Verb

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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 The oil and gas company netted profits of $111 billion last year, more than Apple, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil combined. BostonGlobe.com, "Saudi Aramco takes another step toward 1st public offering," 11 Nov. 2019 Take the risk with a $10 bet returning a profit of $15. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Coyotes-Capitals odds: Washington big favorites again," 11 Nov. 2019 The oil and gas company had profits of $111 billion last year, more than Apple, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil combined. Washington Post, "Saudi Aramco takes another step toward 1st public offering," 10 Nov. 2019 Houston utility CenterPoint Energy reported quarterly profits of $241 million that jumped nearly 60 percent from last year thanks to warmer summer weather driving more electricity usage, reduced maintenance costs and higher customer rates. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "CenterPoint reports growing profits from hot Texas summer," 7 Nov. 2019 The company, which operates the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, reported net profits of 2.2 billion Hong Kong dollars ($280 million) for the third quarter, slightly lower than market expectations. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "SoftBank stock falls after terrible earnings report," 6 Nov. 2019 At the top of Forbes’ list was Atlanta United at a valuation of $500 million, generating a league-best $78 million and turning a profit of $7 million. Jake Shapiro, The Denver Post, "Forbes lists Colorado Rapids as lowest valued franchise in MLS," 4 Nov. 2019 However, the company reported a profit of $102 million, or 23 cents a share for the July-to-September period. Lorraine Mirabella, baltimoresun.com, "Under Armour shares plunge amid word of federal investigation into company’s accounting," 4 Nov. 2019 Its high prices and hefty profit margins for retailers—sometimes around 50-60%, according to Bloomberg Businessweek—have attracted suspicion from government authorities as well. Roberta Kwok, Quartz, "What companies don’t tell you about extended warranties," 1 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Otherwise, when the borders are eventually reopened, the government would be handing them back to the same officials who have profited for years from smuggling. Stephen Onyeiwu, Quartz Africa, "Nigeria needs a competent customs service, not border closure," 28 Oct. 2019 Instead, artists on the platform govern how their tickets are sold and resold, with options like setting a price ceiling for resold tickets and choosing who profits from the resale. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Meet YellowHeart, The Chainsmokers-Backed Ticketing Platform That Puts Artists in Control," 21 Oct. 2019 In a new strategy, city officials are leaning on landlords to evict tenants who profit from gambling. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Money, murder and the ‘fish game’: Behind Oakland’s crackdown on gambling dens," 13 Oct. 2019 As the country marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Americans are being forced to confront the brutality of slavery and of the people who profited from it. Hannah Natanson, Anchorage Daily News, "They were once America’s cruelest, richest slave traders. Why does no one know their names?," 17 Sep. 2019 With the odds at +100, a $100 bet would profit $100. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Sports gambling is legal in Indiana! Let's bet on the Colts," 4 Sep. 2019 King Ranch would profit from if the Trafigura project moves forward. Randy Diamond, ExpressNews.com, "King Ranch Backed Study Says Off-Shore Tanker Loading Facility 12 Miles From South Padre Island Is Safe," 14 June 2019 Ostensibly, Kik’s existing shareholders would profit if and when the value of kin rose. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "Are ICO Tokens Securities? Startup Wants a Judge to Decide," 27 Jan. 2019 At 2-to-3 odds, a winning bettor investing $1 would profit 66 cents. David K. Li, Fox News, "Bookies place odds on identity of anonymous author of NY Times op-ed," 6 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

15 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce profit (audio)

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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