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profit motive

the desire for profit that motivates one to engage in business ventures.
Origin of profit motive
1930-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for profit motive
  • If that profit motive didn't exist, we'd have to rely entirely on government lawyers, especially in consumer protection suits.
  • Pharma studies can't be trusted because they have a profit motive.
  • Our medical system and its profit motive are without empathy.
  • The short-term profit motive is too strong compared to the long-term view that is highly discouraged in private industry nowadays.
  • Making everyone pay for what they actually use is always good policy: the profit motive encourages conservation.
  • But regulatory issues aside, the pharmaceutical industry has also had a strong profit motive in avoiding personalizing medicine.
  • For a viable profit motive, look at all the communications satellites.
  • If manned space flight had such a profit motive, we'd probably be doing it.
  • Or that a car dealer's profit motive is to deliver an old clunker instead of the new car you paid for.
  • The lesson is that it's profit motive that causes people to take action, not altruism or ideals.
profit motive in Culture

profit motive definition

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

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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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