American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


PROF'IT, noun [Latin profectus, proficio, to profit literally to proceed forward, to advance; pro and facio. The primary sense of facio is to urge or drive.

1. In commerce, the advance in the price of goods sold beyond the cost of purchase. Net profit is the gain made by selling goods at an advanced price or a price beyond what they had cost the seller, and beyond all costs and charges. The profit of the farmer and the manufacturer is the gain made by the sale of produce or manufactures, after deducting the value of the labor, materials, rents and all expenses, together with the interest of the capital employed, whether land, machinery, buildings, instruments or money.

Let no man anticipate uncertain profits.

2. Any gain or pecuniary advantage; as an office of profit or honor.

3. Any advantage; any accession of good from labor or exertion; an extensive signification, comprehending the acquisition of any thing valuable, corporeal or intellectual, temporal or spiritual. A person may derive profit from exercise, amusements, reading, study, meditation, social intercourse, religious instruction, etc. Every improvement or advance in knowledge is profit to a wise man.

PROF'IT, verb transitive

1. To benefit; to advantage; applied to one's self, to derive some pecuniary interest or some accession of good from any thing; as, to profit one's self by a commercial undertaking, or by reading or instruction. In this sense, the verb is generally used intransitively. Applied to others, to communicate good to; to advance the interest of.

Brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you? 1 Corinthians 14:6.

Whereto might the strength of their hands profit me? Job 30:2.

2. To improve; to advance.

It is a great means of profiting yourself, to copy diligently excellent pieces and beautiful designs.

PROF'IT, verb intransitive To gain advantage in percuniary interest; as, to profit by trade or manufactures.

1. To make improvement; to improve; to grow wiser or better; to advance in any thing useful; as, to profit by reading or by experience.

She has profited by your counsel.

2. To be of use or advantage; to bring good to.

Riches profit not in the day of wrath. Proverbs 11:4.