ex·​empt | \ig-ˈzem(p)t \

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

These might include expanding the scope of tax-exempt private activity bonds, removing the federal ban on interstate highway tolls, and offering incentives for state and local governments to lease revenue-producing assets to investors. Robert Poole, WSJ, "How to Make Highways and Airports Pay," 21 Oct. 2018 The 757-room hotel opened in August 2008 next to the convention center downtown, two years after city officials approved sale of more than $300 million in tax-exempt bonds to pay for its construction. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore's 10-year-old convention hotel finally makes a profit," 27 June 2018 Communities with plans such as the one Mount Pleasant just approved can finance the redevelopment by issuing bonds exempt from both state and federal taxes, which DeGroot said could save the village millions of dollars. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Village of Mount Pleasant declares Foxconn area as blighted, may use eminent domain to take properties," 5 June 2018 Clark County, Nevada, is selling about $648 million in tax-exempt bonds Wednesday to help finance the new 65,000-seat stadium for the National Football League’s Raiders. Amanda Albright, Bloomberg.com, "Raiders' $1.8 Billion Home Shows Stadium Building Blitz Not Over," 11 Apr. 2018 At the end of that hearing, the board voted to approve a $7 million naming rights deal with Powerhouse that will give museum backers vital financial backing to close on $18 million worth of tax-exempt bonds for the project. Ryan Lillis, sacbee, "See the stunning new images of Sacramento's riverfront science museum | The Sacramento Bee," 16 Feb. 2018 Trump’s proposal to foster more public-private partnerships for road building mirrors a bipartisan plan sponsored by Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn last month to raise the federal limit on tax-exempt private activity bonds for infrastructure projects. Kevin Diaz, San Antonio Express-News, "Trump public works plan relies heavily on state money," 12 Feb. 2018 Detractors have voiced concerns about Brightline’s financial viability, which depends in part on tax-exempt bonds, and its safety in light of recent Amtrak derailments. Martin Vassolo, miamiherald, "33 minutes to downtown — with leather, wifi and wine. Fido can ride, too.," 12 Jan. 2018 Tobacco and e-cigarette stores for adults will still carry these products, according to the Post, and mint and menthol e-cigarettes will be exempt from the restrictions. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The FDA may soon ban flavored vapes and menthol cigarettes," 14 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the utensil and straw ban was exempted with a yearly waiver until a market matured to provide affordable and effective replacement items to any business that serves food, whether in private or public settings. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Seattle Says It's the Last Straw As It Bans Plastic Utensils. Is Your City Next?," 20 June 2018 Unlike many American allies, India has not been exempted from imminent steel tariffs. The Economist, "Sluggish exports leave India needing to curry favour with investors," 10 May 2018 These same 26 counties are also exempted from SNAP and Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) work requirements. Ginger Christ, cleveland.com, "Ohio groups, officials oppose Medicaid work requirements, as state prepares to submit waiver to federal government," 3 Apr. 2018 Mothers who enroll in treatments would be exempted. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Bipartisan effort to fix Kentucky's troubled adoption and foster care system moves forward," 22 Feb. 2018 Former White House ethics chief Walter Shaub said Zinke's decision to exempt Florida from the drilling plan appears to be a conflict of interest for Trump. Matthew Daly, Houston Chronicle, "Democrats say Trump action on Florida drilling guided by politics," 10 Jan. 2018 Washington exempts prescription drugs and most food items from the sales tax. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle would consider exempting tampons from sales tax under City Council proposal," 30 Oct. 2018 California's waiver, which will last until August of 2019, exempts more than 800,000 able-bodied, childless Californians from having to work while on SNAP. Fox News, "California used loopholes to keep thousands on food stamps from having to work," 22 Aug. 2018 The initiative would have exempted Californians 21 and over from criminal penalties for possessing, selling, transporting or cultivating psilocybin mushrooms. Barbara Feder Ostrov, sacbee, "'Magic' mushrooms: The next great legalization debate," 29 May 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

11 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

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

Spanish Central: Translation of exempt

Nglish: Translation of exempt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exempt for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exempt

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to enclose within walls

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