1

profit

noun, often attributive prof·it \ ˈprä-fət \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of profit

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

profitless

play \ˈprä-fət-ləs\ adjective

profitwise

play \ˈprä-fət-ˌwīz\ adverb

Examples of profit in a Sentence

  1. The company made a profit this year.

  2. Profits are up from last year.

  3. There was a rise in profits this year.

  4. The profits from CD sales were donated to charity.

  5. The organization is not run for profit.

  6. The film made $1,000,000 in profit.

  7. The book can be read with profit by anyone who wants to understand how the system works.

Recent Examples of profit from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of profit

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


2

profit

verb

Definition of profit

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

Examples of profit in a Sentence

  1. It would profit him to take some computer classes.

  2. The company has profited by selling its products online.

  3. He profited greatly from his investments.

  4. The island profits from tourism.

Recent Examples of profit from the Web

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

profit Synonyms


Financial Definition of PROFIT

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.



PROFIT Defined for English Language Learners

profit

noun

Definition of profit for English Language Learners

  • : money that is made in a business, through investing, etc., after all the costs and expenses are paid : a financial gain

  • : the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something


profit

verb

Definition of profit for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

profit

noun prof·it \ ˈprä-fət \

Definition of profit for Students

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.

profitless

\-ləs\ adjective

2

profit

verb

Definition of profit for Students

profited; profiting
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.

Law Dictionary

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


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up profit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to remove or wipe out

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!