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 move is Walmart’s latest attempt to spiff up its dowdy fashion business, which delivers higher profit margins than food and everyday staples but has never really caught fire. BostonGlobe.com, "Key site in downtown Weston up for sale," 17 Sep. 2019 But the junkets also pose a quandary for larger outlets, whose travel budgets have dwindled in recent years as their audiences and profit margins have shrunk. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Can you trust journalists on a junket? Chicago’s architecture biennial pays travel expenses of some who cover it.," 16 Sep. 2019 In 2017, Uber sold Uptown Station in Oakland for tens of millions of dollars in profit. Roland Li, SFChronicle.com, "Office rents are so high that Bay Area businesses are buying buildings," 15 Sep. 2019 Slim profit margins mean manufacturers are unwilling to shell out for factory upgrades. The Economist, "A dire scarcity of drugs is worsening, in part, because they are so cheap," 14 Sep. 2019 According to the affidavit, gaming control officers interviewed a former business partner who stated since January 2016, Wells has taken 176,214 bets totaling $17,127,590.00 and made $1,826,862 in profit from the sports gambling business. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Former IU basketball player Joe Hillman accused of link to New Palestine-based gambling ring," 9 Sep. 2019 Fares were comparatively high and there was no low-cost competition in Milwaukee, which allowed for healthy profit margins. Joe Taschler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The new Midwest Express will not be the old, beloved Midwest Express. Industry economics won't allow it.," 30 Aug. 2019 Metals: Falling prices affected sales and profit margins. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Here are some numbers to prove that the Indian economy is losing steam," 26 Aug. 2019 Most of them are luxury cars and SUVs with higher profit margins that can cover higher U.S. wages. Joe Mcdonald, Twin Cities, "Trump raises tariffs on Chinese goods as trade war escalates," 23 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The California State Assembly unanimously passed a bill yesterday that would allow college athletes to profit from their likenesses beginning in 2023. oregonlive, "That tremor in California might be the end of major college athletics as we know them: Issues & Answers," 10 Sep. 2019 The design of the bill is to allow college athletes in the state of California to profit from endorsements and hire agents to represent their business interests without forfeiting amateur eligibility. Brendan Bowers, LeBron Wire, "Lakers superstar LeBron James lends support to California's Fair Pay to Play Act," 5 Sep. 2019 Swift, of course, has had plenty of opportunity to profit from her body of work even without owning her recordings. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Taylor Swift shared an important lesson about the capitalist mode of production," 3 July 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 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. al, "The hidden history of America’s richest, cruelest slave owners," 15 Sep. 2019 That's why HelloSociety and most other influencer marketing businesses rely on online tools to sniff out counterfeit or fraudulent accounts—and influencers who profit from them. Wired, "Fighting Instagram's $1.3 Billion Problem—Fake Followers," 10 Sep. 2019 Cost and profit Experience shows that some people will attempt to profit from gun buybacks by submitting inexpensive or broken firearms worth less than the cash incentive offered through the buyback. Lacey Wallace, The Conversation, "Could a national gun buyback program reduce the 393 million guns on America’s streets?," 4 Aug. 2019 The fate of Fred's had been shrouded in uncertainty since the company's plans to profit from a mega-merger between pharmacy giants Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid collapsed in late June 2017 amid federal antitrust concerns. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Fred's to close all of its stores in Chapter 11 bankruptcy liquidation," 9 Sep. 2019

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

1 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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