prof·​i·​teer | \ ˌprä-fə-ˈtir How to pronounce profiteer (audio) \

Definition of profiteer

: one who makes what is considered an unreasonable profit especially on the sale of essential goods during times of emergency

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Other Words from profiteer

profiteer intransitive verb

Examples of profiteer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Over the course of five episodes, World's Most Wanted profiles a drug kingpin, a war profiteer, a Russian crime boss, a mafia don, and a female terrorist of mythic proportions. Shannon Carlin,, "Only One Of The Fugitives From Netflix’s World’s Most Wanted Has Been Caught," 5 Aug. 2020 May 28, 2020 As state officials sorted through offers to weed the legitimate from the fraudulent, well-meaning entrepreneurs and profiteers alike also attempted to distinguish reality from illusion. Adam Elmahrek, Los Angeles Times, "From a lobbyist to an ex-con, offer of millions of masks for California drew a cast of characters," 29 May 2020 Middlemen and profiteers squirmed in between links in the global supply chain, selling fictional caches of equipment. Dominic Fracassa,, "Bay Area getting better at buying personal protective equipment, but nurses still feel vulnerable," 22 May 2020 Targeting profiteers Attorney General Yost wants to make sure that people can’t buy essential goods during an emergency and then resell them at a much-higher price. Anna Staver,, "Coronavirus: Ohio lawmakers offer bills on profiteering, student-loan repayments," 17 May 2020 Hand sanitizer has become one of the scarcest household products during the pandemic — worse than toilet paper — thanks in part to profiteers. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "Dallas distillery rejects profiteers and makes hand sanitizer for first responders," 25 Apr. 2020 Don’t get me wrong, countless profiteers and opportunists will capitalize on the coming misery in the global economy. Paul Polman, Fortune, "The coronavirus pandemic may be a turning point for responsible business," 14 Apr. 2020 But on Facebook and Instagram, apparent profiteers are hawking overpriced masks with ads that lead to web stores hosted on e-commerce platform Shopify. Jeremy B. Merrill, Quartz, "Facebook ads and Shopify stores still hawk overpriced N95 masks," 17 Mar. 2020 But the sad fact of journalism’s dependence on profit-making becomes far more grotesque and dangerous when the profiteers in question are financial sector wheeler-dealers. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Real Threat to Journalism Is Not Donald Trump," 25 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'profiteer.' 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 profiteer

1912, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for profiteer

Time Traveler

The first known use of profiteer was in 1912

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Statistics for profiteer

Last Updated

23 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Profiteer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for profiteer


prof·​i·​teer | \ ˌprä-fə-ˈtir How to pronounce profiteer (audio) \

Legal Definition of profiteer

: one who makes an unreasonable profit especially on the sale of essential goods during times of emergency (as during wartime)

Other Words from profiteer

profiteer intransitive verb

More from Merriam-Webster on profiteer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for profiteer

Britannica English: Translation of profiteer for Arabic Speakers

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