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[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.
Origin of profiteer
First recorded in 1910-15; profit + -eer
Related forms
antiprofiteering, adjective
nonprofiteering, noun
unprofiteering, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for profiteering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • These decreases have come out of the elimination of speculation and profiteering.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • Such changes do not come under the category of profiteering.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • There are three kinds of speculation and profiteering in the food trades.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • I should hope to tell you; he is a butcher who has been arrested three times for profiteering.

  • This business of profiteering by the natives is no new phase of life in the Congo.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
  • This meant a run on provisions and profiteering by shopkeepers.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
British Dictionary definitions for profiteering


a person who makes excessive profits, esp by charging exorbitant prices for goods in short supply
(intransitive) to make excessive profits
Derived Forms
profiteering, 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
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Word Origin and History for profiteering



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
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