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]