Definition of profitable adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈprɒfɪtəbl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈprɑːfɪtəbl//
    Running a business
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  1. 1that makes or is likely to make money a highly profitable business a profitable investment It is usually more profitable to sell direct to the public. Synonymssuccessfulprofitable commercial lucrative economicThese words all describe somebody/​something that is making or is likely to make money.successful making a lot of money, especially by being popular:The play was very successful on Broadway. The company has had another successful year.profitable making a profit:a highly profitable businesscommercial [only before noun] making or intended to make a profit:The movie was not a commercial success (= made no profit).lucrative (of business or work) producing or paying a large amount of money; making a large profit:They do a lot of business in lucrative overseas markets.economic (often used in negative sentences) (of a process, business or activity) producing enough profit to continue:Small local shops stop being economic when a supermarket opens up nearby.Patterns a successful/​profitable/​lucrative business a successful/​profitable/​lucrative year a(n) commercial/​economic success See related entries: Running a business
  2. 2that gives somebody an advantage or a useful result synonym rewarding a profitable experience She spent a profitable afternoon in the library.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French, from the verb profiter, from Latin profectus ‘progress, profit’, from proficere ‘to advance’, from pro- ‘on behalf of’ + facere ‘do’.Extra examples Some churches have found it profitable to hold services during the week. The business is not really profitable enough. What can be done to keep the business profitable? a highly profitable chain of shops confident that the venture will prove profitable It was, generally, a profitable meeting. She runs a highly profitable business. The shares turned out to be a profitable investment.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: profitable