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profit motive

noun
  1. the desire for profit that motivates one to engage in business ventures.
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Origin of profit motive

First recorded in 1930–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

profit motive in Culture

profit motive

The ability to earn profits as the reason for producers to make and sell goods.

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Note

The profit motive is often called a great good or a great evil in society. On the one hand, it is said to represent selfishness; on the other, it is said to drive the free market system. (See invisible hand.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.