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


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

Other Words from profit


profitless \ ˈprä-​fət-​ləs How to pronounce profit (audio) \ adjective
profitwise \ ˈprä-​fət-​ˌwīz How to pronounce profit (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kickstarter began a four-day week trial in April 2022 with a U.S. spinoff of not-for profit advocacy group, 4 Day Week Global. Trey Williams, Fortune, 1 July 2022 And a grim profit warning from Micron Technology, the largest maker of memory semiconductors in the United States, sparked fresh worries about corporate America’s earnings power. Peyton Forte | Bloomberg News, Washington Post, 1 July 2022 As a result, Meta has posted back-to-back profit declines this year, the first time that has happened in over a decade. New York Times, 1 July 2022 The company reported an 84% jump in revenue to 10.4 billion rupees ($138 million), with net profit more than doubling to 3.15 billion rupees for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022. Anu Raghunathan, Forbes, 30 June 2022 The threats can come from people operating outside the United States who are trying to threaten national or economic security or from criminal groups driven by profit. oregonlive, 30 June 2022 Software company Tipalt examined how much money 50 companies from the Fortune 500 pull in as annual profit to determine which firms make the most money per second. Chandra Steele, PCMAG, 29 June 2022 As part of the acquisition, which is expected to close during the second half of the year, Stratus could receive an additional $50 million based on an undisclosed profit goal for its first fiscal year. Globe Staff,, 29 June 2022 Experts said the disaster points to recklessness by smugglers to transport migrants, even in unsafe conditions, to reap the most profit. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 29 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dark days are ahead for most of the nation’s schools, but Cunningham has positioned his National University system to profit from the misfortunes of its peers. Emma Whitford, Forbes, 9 June 2022 Short-bitcoin funds, which intend to profit from bitcoin's price going lower, saw $1.3 million in inflows. Krisztian Sandor, Fortune, 6 June 2022 With college athletes now able to profit from the names, images and likenesses, what is the strategy at Ohio State University to make sure the Buckeyes remain competitive in recruiting? Laura Johnston, cleveland, 3 June 2022 But that is slowly changing, as the traditionally risk-averse insurance industry—from big brokers to new startups—dips its toes into the water by setting up new teams focusing on cryptocurrency, hoping to profit from the industry’s rapid growth. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, 25 May 2022 Outgoing Russian owner Roman Abramovich is not allowed to profit from the proceeds of the sale since he was sanctioned and his assets were frozen for his links to President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine. Rob Harris, ajc, 16 May 2022 In the 1990s, Wall Street’s financial engineers invented the leveraged inverse floating rate note to profit from falling interest rates. Globe Staff,, 12 May 2022 The sector remains incredibly volatile, and short sellers are increasing their bets against energy stocks, hoping to profit from the possibility of a further fall in prices. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 10 May 2022 Heck, Ed O’Bannon’s antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA that pushed for players to be able to profit from the use of their NILs was filed in 2009. Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 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.

First Known Use of profit


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

History and Etymology for profit


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

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Time Traveler for profit

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Profit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for profit


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


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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on profit

Nglish: Translation of profit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of profit for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about profit


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