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

Definition of exempt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


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

Edmonton, Canada-based Triple Five Group took ownership in 2011, ultimately securing $1.7 billion in construction loans from JPMorgan Chase & Co., $1.1 billion in tax-exempt municipal bonds, $500 million from the developer and tenant payments. Fortune, "Reaching the American Dream: a Traffic Nightmare?," 3 Sep. 2019 To help finance the project, Dominium intends to apply for tax-exempt bonds and 4 percent affordable housing tax credits through Dakota County. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "Developer has housing plan for former Kmart site in West St. Paul," 27 Aug. 2019 Kirk said the proposal is for MIRA to issue tax-exempt bonds to finance redevelopment of the trash-burning portion of the facility, backed by 30-year agreements with cities and towns on supplying garbage for set tipping fees. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "Initial agreement on redeveloping Hartford trash plant reached after years of deadlock," 10 July 2019 For example, would satirical deepfake videos be exempt? David Singer, The Hollywood Reporter, "How Hollywood Can (and Can’t) Fight Back Against Deepfake Videos (Guest Column)," 7 Sep. 2019 Trucks delivering to businesses in the area also are exempt. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Barrio Logan residents say enforcement of city-designated truck route is low," 3 Sep. 2019 Even exempt players have to formally enter the U.S. Open. Houston Chronicle, "Tiger Woods files entry to play US Open for 1st time since 2015," 12 Apr. 2018 Bags used for wrapping plant material that could spoil, bags used by restaurants for takeout and delivery, and bags used by small non-franchise businesses with fewer than 25 employees would be exempt, according to the agenda. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Commissioners consider paying telecommuters to move to Carroll County, set to discuss legislative ideas with delegation next week," 23 Aug. 2019 Thin plastic bags used to protect newspapers and dry cleaning will also be exempt. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "A statewide plastic bag tax takes effect Thursday. Here’s what you need to know before heading to the store.," 29 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the law exempts businesses with fewer than 50 employees, such as Barker’s. Anna Claire Vollers | Avollers@al.com, al, "Alabama lacks workplace protections for moms who want to breastfeed," 16 Sep. 2019 Reich said the tax hike won't make up for the city's losses on franchise fees alone; one new law exempts companies that offer both cable TV and telecommunications from paying both franchise and right-of-way fees. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "An $8 tax hike? Some Dallas council members already say no," 13 Aug. 2019 The bill exempts some nonviolent offenses from a state law requiring people to serve at least 40%, 50% or 80% of their prison terms, depending on their number of previous prison convictions. David A. Lieb, chicagotribune.com, "A new Missouri law could free hundreds of people from mandatory prison terms," 9 July 2019 The directive exempts smaller services, but only for the first few years of operation. The Economist, "Regulating Big Tech makes them stronger, so they need competition instead," 6 June 2019 To compromise with landlords and developers, Chiu exempted an increasingly popular swath of California rental housing from his rent cap: single-family homes. Matt Levin, The Mercury News, "Big rent hikes are about to be illegal in California. Here’s what you should know," 15 Sep. 2019 Assembly Bill 1197 would exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act any Los Angeles shelter or homeless housing project that gets funding from several state and local sources, including a $1.2 billion bond measure passed by L.A. voters. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, "Homeless shelters in L.A. could be harder to block if Gov. Newsom signs this bill," 13 Sep. 2019 But the law would exempt contractor-heavy sectors including beauty salons, law firms, doctors' offices and real estate offices. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "California's gig worker law will mostly affect non-gig workers," 13 Sep. 2019 Indeed, the exempted list pales in comparison to over 5,000 types of U.S. products that are already subject to China's additional tariffs. NBC News, "Trump delays tariff hike on some Chinese goods by two weeks," 12 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The rustic retreat boasts 28 acres, 27 of which are classified as agricultural exempt improved pasture land, according to Milliorn. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Nearly half a million slashed from price on swanky rustic Dayton ranch," 3 Sep. 2019 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 2


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

2 Oct 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

Comments on exempt

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