ex·​empt | \ ig-ˈzem(p)t How to pronounce exempt (audio) \

Definition of exempt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 obsolete : set apart
2 : free or released from some liability or requirement to which others are subject was exempt from jury duty the estate was exempt from taxes


exempted; exempting; exempts

Definition of exempt (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to release or deliver from some liability or requirement to which others are subject exempted from military service



Definition of exempt (Entry 3 of 3)

: one exempted or freed from duty

Examples of exempt in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The auditor reported that payroll staff overrode a control that had ensured exempt employees could not enter overtime on their time sheets. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland.com, "Excusable mistakes or bad governance? A look back at 17 months under Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish," 7 June 2019 Naperville was one of 68 municipalities in the Illinois Housing Advisory Commission’s 2013 report considered non-exempt under the act. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Naperville seeks bids for affordable housing plan following report that found city's stock is lacking," 4 June 2019 The garage could be affected, but the cemetery money would not be touched because the contract award date is June, and would therefore be exempt under rules set up by Shanahan. ___ Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor contributed to this report. Robert Burns, The Seattle Times, "Lawmakers denounce plan to divert military money for wall," 26 Mar. 2019 But that doesn’t mean that the game of golf is completely exempt from the bad behavior of an unruly fan or two. Southern Living, "Hecklers Beware! Shouting These Phrases Will Get You Booted From Augusta," 4 Apr. 2018 The National Guard is exempt from the law, but has its own regulations restricting its members from such activity. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "U.S. military at the Mexican border wouldn't be unprecedented," 3 Apr. 2018 The message follows a U.S. appeals court ruling last month that said that securities called collateralized loan obligations, backed by leveraged loans, are exempt from another set of post-crisis rules. Bloomberg.com, "Trump: 'I Don't Think You're Going to Have a Trade War'," 1 Mar. 2018 Marilee Aldred, trial court administrator for the Malheur County Circuit Court, initially said the record was exempt by law and then said the request was being reviewed by the judge handling the Montwheeler case. Special To The Oregonian, OregonLive.com, "Man who claimed he faked insanity is unfit to stand trial, Oregon State Hospital concludes," 1 Feb. 2018 Alien microbes are exempt from ownership, but anything else a company can harvest from an asteroid or planetary body belongs to that company, including rare minerals, precious metals, and water, an important resource for outer space exploration. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Senate Passes Law to Legalize Space Mining," 13 Nov. 2015

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The second is language tucked into the state budget bill that exempts a panel overseeing billionaire Ray Dalio’s $100 million contribution to the state’s schools from ethics and disclosure rules. Russell Blair, courant.com, "Capitol Week in Review: Tolls vote still looming as General Assembly session ends," 7 June 2019 There's a loophole in the 1994 Brady Bill that exempts places like gun shows and the internet from having to conduct background checks. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "How to Get the H.R. 8 Universal Background Checks Bill Passed in the Senate," 28 Feb. 2019 But the statute authorizing highway districts like ACHD to charge their own registration fees on top of state fees also requires districts to follow rules established in the law that exempts heavy trucks. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Ada County drivers, you subsidize big trucks — even though they damage roads more.," 11 July 2018 In April, the House unanimously approved legislation that would exempt those with very low incomes from private collection. Joe Davidson, Washington Post, "Private tax collection agencies lose money while going after the poor," 6 July 2018 The lawsuit alleged the employees were improperly classified as salaried managers and unfairly exempted from overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, "Court rules Jimmy John's not responsible for alleged labor law violations by franchisees," 28 June 2018 The Trump administration’s top budget official said Monday the White House will propose capping next year’s federal budget at spending levels enacted in 2011, while effectively exempting the Pentagon from the sharp spending cuts. Kate Davidson, WSJ, "Trump Budget Proposal Would Protect Military From Steep Spending Cuts," 25 Feb. 2019 In particular, Congress might consider a law exempting a President — while in office — from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Does Brett Kavanaugh think the president is immune from criminal charges?," 11 July 2018 Ethanol supporters also have criticized EPA waivers exempting some small refineries from the biofuel blending requirements. Mario Parker, Bloomberg.com, "Trump to Hit Refiners With Biofuels Boost," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Senate plan also places sales taxes on upgrades to homes and buildings -- such as installing new window treatments and new roofs -- that are currently tax exempt. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "Louisiana Senate passes budget with TOPS, health care money -- and more taxes," 3 June 2018 Harrisburg is burdened by the fact that a majority of its real estate is owned by the state or is tax exempt. Michaelle Bond, Philly.com, "How Pa.'s 'distressed' program helps towns; and why it's hard to leave it," 16 Mar. 2018 By the end of the current abatement, the building will have been tax exempt for 15 years. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "How many times should taxpayers pay for the same granite counters?," 13 Dec. 2017 The department is taking more steps to detect fraud, including checking the IRS website to see if an organization really is tax exempt, said Jeff Fleming, spokesman for the department. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lax city oversight allowed sham nonprofit to snag and flip Milwaukee properties," 3 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exempt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exempt


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1532, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for exempt


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere to take out — more at example

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Statistics for exempt

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exempt

The first known use of exempt was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for exempt



English Language Learners Definition of exempt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not required to do something that others are required to do



English Language Learners Definition of exempt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say that (someone or something) does not have to do something that others are required to do : to make (someone or something) exempt


ex·​empt | \ ig-ˈzempt How to pronounce exempt (audio) \

Kids Definition of exempt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: free or released from some requirement that other persons must meet or deal with I'm exempt from the test.


exempted; exempting

Kids Definition of exempt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to release from a requirement that others must meet


ex·​empt | \ ig-ˈzempt How to pronounce exempt (audio) \

Legal Definition of exempt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: free or released from some obligation or duty to which others are subject : not subject or liable certain properties are declared to be exempt and cannot be taken by a person's creditors— J. H. Williamson

Legal Definition of exempt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to release or exclude from some liability (as in taxation), obligation, or duty to which others are subject exempts the income of a spendthrift trust— W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exempt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exempt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exempt

Spanish Central: Translation of exempt

Nglish: Translation of exempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exempt for Arabic Speakers

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showing courage and determination

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