Definition of profiteer in US English:



[no object]
  • Make or seek to make an excessive or unfair profit, especially illegally or in a black market.

    ‘the profiteering of tabloid journalists’
    • ‘Vendors and seamstresses are profiteering from the sale of these items, and those interviewed have said that they are just trying to make a living.’
    • ‘Land would only be released to young locals who wished to settle in the area, and financial rules would be put in place to prevent profiteering if they wanted to sell and move on.’
    • ‘He shows how desertions, profiteering, hoarding, and plunder were widespread.’
    • ‘‘They are profiteering from it and we should be making it clear that the time is up for them,’ he stated.’
    • ‘We repeat our central point that what is needed to combat profiteering across a wide range of goods is price control on essential goods and services.’
    • ‘Overall, their problem was not middlemen profiteering but inadequate demand.’
    • ‘While war can result in profit for a few, it is not the case that the entire system of a free economy depends on such wartime profiteering.’
    • ‘So we must contend that this was just a shot at profiteering that they thought they'd get away with but got caught.’
    • ‘In this case, however, I suspect the motivation is just good old-fashioned profiteering.’
    • ‘The people profiteering off of the growth perpetuate the problem and have a human obligation to correct the problems.’
    • ‘Possibly they were simply profiteering from the sudden influx of US support, or stocking up in anticipation of a future power struggle.’
    • ‘Banks and ATM operators must not be allowed to engage in profiteering at the expense of people in rural and regional areas.’
    • ‘To prevent profiteering on bad news, the wagers would have been kept small.’
    • ‘US and French delegates immediately rejected the idea declaring that it could lead to smuggling and profiteering.’
    • ‘Of course, facilitators like Joe see no ethical conflict in profiteering on their connections.’
    • ‘There may be as much ideology here as profiteering, but we don't yet know.’
    • ‘Science has played into the hands of reaction and extreme-right profiteering since the days of the Industrial Revolution.’
    • ‘‘No one is going to be seen to be profiteering from these tragic events,’ one senior trader said at the weekend.’
    • ‘As a result of the restrictions and profiteering, farmers left crops to rot in the fields and there are reports of malnutrition.’
    • ‘In other words, everything would have been fine if Andy had just kept his sideboard profiteering in check.’
    overcharge, racketeer, make an excessive profit, make an illegal profit
    extortion, racketeering, exploitation
    View synonyms


  • A person who profiteers.

    ‘a war profiteer’
    • ‘They had an affiliation with mobsters, drug dealings, illegal profiteers, and more, where they would store money, risk-free and securely, for everyone.’
    • ‘Without warning, they proceeded to side with the corporate war profiteers, and use violence to suppress nonviolent free speech.’
    • ‘Scorsese has achieved a first here: making a film that celebrates a war profiteer.’
    • ‘The report pointed out some of the worst of the war profiteers.’
    • ‘The city's streets are congested with men pushing heavy bricks and building materials on carts among the sport utility vehicles of relief workers, government officials, diplomats and drug profiteers.’
    • ‘Until the public shakes loose the iron grip of these money-grabbing profiteers, crime and the prison population will continue to rise.’
    • ‘While some people were busy fighting and dying, war profiteers made fortunes selling rotten food, unserviceable uniforms and non-working weapons.’
    • ‘The experience tilted the historical scales towards the war profiteers and the army's most successful commander - Napoleon Bonaparte.’
    • ‘To the region's hydroelectric profiteers, this means that ‘their’ generators are being ‘robbed’ of kilowatt dollars by juvenile salmon.’
    • ‘The streets, once bustling with peddlers, coca farmers and shady profiteers are now quiet at night.’
    • ‘In a country that promotes the virtues of the free market, he died for the benefit of the war profiteers and for very little benefit to himself.’
    • ‘It is not hyperbole to say that those beneficiaries of wartime tax cuts and contract deals should now be called war profiteers.’
    • ‘That can then lay the basis for future battles to begin rolling back privatisation and drive the profiteers out of public services.’
    • ‘I also see the other side of the coin, and I believe that most of the companies in the cleanup game are no better than war profiteers.’
    • ‘So the futures of over 3500 workers and their families are under threat from profiteers who are unaccountable to these workers or to anyone else - unaccountable to any franchise other than their major shareholders.’
    • ‘It will become even harder to swing public opinion behind humanitarian interventions if war profiteers and racist thugs are direct beneficiaries.’
    • ‘As wars create profiteers and environmental destruction, they also raise the opportunity for building real democratic control from below over the earth's richest resources.’
    • ‘He was, in other words, a war profiteer - though a very unskilled one, unable to survive his exile without borrowing even more money from the brother-in-law who had once sent him smuggling.’
    • ‘The beneficiaries were profiteers from war industries whose boldly flaunted new wealth intensified social tensions.’
    • ‘They chanted anti-government slogans and carried placards denouncing the war profiteers.’
    extortionist, extortioner, racketeer, exploiter, black marketeer
    View synonyms