[ prof-it ]
See synonyms for: profitprofitingprofits on

  1. Often profits.

    • pecuniary gain resulting from the employment of capital in any transaction.: Compare gross profit, net profit.

    • the ratio of such pecuniary gain to the amount of capital invested.

    • returns, proceeds, or revenue, as from property or investments.

  2. the monetary surplus left to a producer or employer after deducting wages, rent, cost of raw materials, etc.: The company works on a small margin of profit.

  1. advantage; benefit; gain.

verb (used without object)
  1. to gain an advantage or benefit: He profited greatly from his schooling.

  2. to make a profit.

  1. to take advantage: to profit from the weaknesses of others.

  2. to be of service or benefit.

  3. to make progress.

verb (used with object)
  1. to be of advantage or profit to: Nothing profits one so much as a sound education.

Origin of profit

First recorded in 1250–1300; (for the noun) Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin prōfectus “progress, profit,” noun use of past participle of prōficere “to make progress,” from prō- pro-1 + -ficere, combining form of facere “to do, make” (cf. fact ); verb derivative of the noun

Other words for profit

Opposites for profit

Other words from profit

  • prof·it·er, noun
  • prof·it·less, adjective
  • prof·it·less·ly, adverb
  • prof·it·less·ness, noun
  • pro·prof·it, adjective
  • self-profit, noun
  • un·prof·it·ed, adjective
  • un·prof·it·ing, adjective

Words that may be confused with profit

Words Nearby profit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use profit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for profit


/ (ˈprɒfɪt) /

  1. (often plural) excess of revenues over outlays and expenses in a business enterprise over a given period of time, usually a year

  2. the monetary gain derived from a transaction

    • income derived from property or an investment, as contrasted with capital gains

    • the ratio of this income to the investment or principal

  1. economics

    • the income or reward accruing to a successful entrepreneur and held to be the motivating factor of all economic activity in a capitalist economy

    • (as modifier): the profit motive

  2. a gain, benefit, or advantage

  1. to gain or cause to gain profit

Origin of profit

C14: from Latin prōfectus advance, from prōficere to make progress; see proficient

Derived forms of profit

  • profiter, noun
  • profitless, adjective

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