Definition of profit in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpräfət/


1A financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something: pretax profits his eyes brightened at the prospect of profit
More example sentences
  • Since most do not operate to earn profits, these enterprises do not pay dividends to shareholders.
  • Non-residents are only taxed on income or profits earned from Irish sources.
  • If their reversal generates excessive exchange rate movements they are able to earn large profits.
(financial) gain, return(s), yield, proceeds, earnings, winnings, surplus, excess
informal pay dirt, bottom line
1.1Advantage; benefit: there’s no profit in screaming at referees from the bench
advantage, benefit, value, use, good, avail
informal mileage

verb (profits, profiting, profited)

[no object]
1Obtain a financial advantage or benefit, especially from an investment: the only people to profit from the entire episode were the lawyers
More example sentences
  • CEOs or other officers should not be allowed to profit from erroneous financial statements.
  • They exist to serve rather than to profit from people's financial needs or indeed to support what is ultimately unsustainable spending.
  • If you really want to stop it, you follow the trail of dollars and go after the money bosses who finance and profit from the ring.
make money, make a profit
informal rake it in, clean up, make a killing, make a bundle, make big bucks, make a fast/quick buck
1.1Obtain an advantage or benefit: not all children would profit from this kind of schooling
More example sentences
  • Particularly in the joint and coalition arenas, we can profit from the beneficial insight that historical analysis provides.
  • Raff became Liszt's musical assistant for six years, profiting greatly.
  • Also, I think they could profit enormously from Amy Welborn's common sense perspective.
1.2 [with object] Be beneficial to: it would profit us to change our plans
More example sentences
  • Putting those outlets in fewer and bigger hands profits the few at the cost of the many.
  • Not only is it profitable for Living Earth but it is also profiting our environment.
  • The rest of us, if we obey these laws as justice requires, are simply profiting the rulers.
benefit, be beneficial to, be of benefit to, be advantageous to, be of advantage to, be of use to, be of value to, do someone good, help, be of service to, serve, assist, aid


at a profit

Making more money than is spent buying, operating, or producing something: fixing up houses and selling them at a profit
More example sentences
  • The pre-school is not a business, but a registered charity, unable to operate at a profit, forbidden to do so under laws governing charities.
  • The management told us before Christmas that we were a little down on the projected budget in the three months to December but the company was still operating at a profit.
  • It has the largest number of trains, stations, and long distance travellers, and it operates at a profit.


Middle English (in the sense 'advantage, benefit'): from Old French, from Latin profectus 'progress, profit', from proficere 'to advance', from pro- 'on behalf of' + facere 'do'. The verb is from Old French profiter.

Words that rhyme with profit

prophet, soffit

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: prof·it

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.