If a person makes more money than he or she spends on a business venture, that extra money is called a "profit." The word "profit" is also similar to the word "benefit."

  • Jeff has profited from his experience as a cook. (It has been a good experience.)
  • Sandra profits from having a good relationship with her parents. (This sentence is in the present tense.)
  • You will not profit from cheating.
  • The pizza place is profiting from an excellent location. (This sentence is in the present continuous tense.)
  • What profit is it to a man who gains the world yet forfeits his soul? (a quote from The Bible, Mark 8:36)

Of course, this word is often used as a noun:

  • Maria made a huge profit from selling flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • They aren’t going to make a profit this year because their business is just getting started.
  • It will take them a few years to make a profit.
  • Jerry’s net profit last year was $45,000. (net profit = money made after expenses and taxes are subtracted.)
  • Theresa’s gross profit was $20,000, but after subtracting her expenses, it turns out she didn’t really make that much.

To make the adjective form, add "able" to the end of "profit."

  • 2015 was a profitable year for their business.
  • The mobile phone industry has been very profitable in recent years.
  • The oil industry today is not as profitable as was five years ago.
  • We stopped selling that product because it wasn’t profitable.


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This page was first published on May 19, 2012. It was updated on January 20, 2016.