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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.
1910-15; profit + -eer
Related forms
antiprofiteering, adjective
nonprofiteering, noun
unprofiteering, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for profiteering
  • He suggested profiteering at the expense of consumers may have been a factor.
  • Doing it for the purposes of profiteering is another matter.
  • Wholesale prices plummeted and high-profile executives were accused of obscene profiteering and insider dealing.
  • Defensive medicine makes a great cover for profiteering.
  • So, let's stop harming ourselves in the name of profiteering.
  • Whatever the government plan is, it is preferable to bank profiteering.
  • These strictures against profiteering and speculation continue to resonate down the ages.
  • Such lofty pronouncements notwithstanding, the medical profession has never been immune to knavery and profiteering.
  • He tried to sue the retailer for profiteering in a local court last month, presenting a picture of the melon plus the receipt.
  • Price freezes have only been enforced through the arrest of scores of businessmen who are accused of profiteering.
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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