Numbers, profitable, lucrative and lucrative share the meaning of returning money, but each term throws a different light on how much green you absorb. Paying is the word for jobs that bring in the smallest potatoes – your first paid job probably offered satisfactory pay, but you wouldn`t make it rich. A gainful job might offer a little more money, and a gainful job certainly suggests that a person is motivated by a desire for profit. Profitable means that a job offers more than the usual rewards, but a lucrative position is the one you want – these are the types that exceed your initial hopes or expectations. Middle English lucrative, from Middle French, from Latin lucrativus, from lucratus, past participle of lucrari to win, music of the lucrum theme by Joshua Stamper Â2006NewJerusalemMusic©/ASCAP. . . .