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[prof-i-teer] /ˌprɒf ɪˈtɪər/
a person who seeks or exacts exorbitant profits, especially through the sale of scarce or rationed goods.
verb (used without object)
to act as a profiteer.
Origin of profiteer
First recorded in 1910-15; profit + -eer
Related forms
antiprofiteering, adjective
nonprofiteering, noun
unprofiteering, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for profiteer
Historical Examples
  • The profiteer found a fine field in the manufacture of shoddy.

    The Iron Ration

    George Abel Schreiner
  • It is the profiteer, not privation, that makes man shake his chains.

    A Revision of the Treaty John Maynard Keynes
  • It was the policy of the Army not to "profiteer" in the United Kingdom.

    G. H. Q. Frank Fox
  • Neither did Hindenburg, nor any German war lord, nor any profiteer.

    Now It Can Be Told Philip Gibbs
  • Silas Angmering had evidently been what is called a profiteer.

    Mr. Prohack

    E. Arnold Bennett
  • "I'm awfully sorry I called you a profiteer," he said humbly.

  • All the practices of the "profiteer" and his ilk are discountenanced by far-seeing people.

    Certain Success Norval A. Hawkins
  • The profiteer, the shirk, the fraud of any sort, was instantly unmasked.

    Lincoln Nathaniel Wright Stephenson
  • If "The profiteer" is not the right answer, it's quite a good guess.

  • It is not my purpose to dwell upon those disgraceful landlords who profiteer.

    The Seven Ages of Man Ralph Bergengren
British Dictionary definitions for profiteer


a person who makes excessive profits, esp by charging exorbitant prices for goods in short supply
(intransitive) to make excessive profits
Derived Forms
profiteering, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for profiteer

1797, but dormant in English until it was revived in World War I, from profit + -eer. From 1912 as a noun. Related: Profiteering (1814).

Or is it simply hysteria which produces what is to-day termed "the profiteer?" It is probable that the modern profiteer is the same person whom we formerly called "the grafter, the extortioner, the robber, the gouger." ["Legal Aid Review," April 1920]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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