[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. profit warning,
  2. profit-sharing,
  3. profit-taking,
  4. profitability,
  5. profitable,
  6. profiteering,
  7. profiterole,
  8. profitless,
  9. profligacy,
  10. profligate

Origin of profiteer

First recorded in 1910–15; profit + -eer

Related formsan·ti·prof·i·teer·ing, adjectivenon·prof·it·eer·ing, nounun·prof·it·eer·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for profiteer

British Dictionary definitions for profiteer


/ (ˌprɒfɪˈtɪə) /


a person who makes excessive profits, esp by charging exorbitant prices for goods in short supply


(intr) to make excessive profits
Derived Formsprofiteering, 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

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