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 Local mandates have followed that guidance; Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide mandate says anyone under 10 or who has a medical condition or disability that prevents them from safely wearing a mask is exempt from the order. Dallas News, "Masks are now required in Texas. What if you can’t wear one because of a medical condition?," 5 July 2020 But this doesn't mean classrooms can be exempt from social distancing and other safety precautions, particularly if schools intend to welcome kids back on site in less than two months. NBC News, "Back to school: What doctors say about children and COVID-19," 12 July 2020 The union claimed that the numbers were exempt from disclosure. oregonlive, "For Portland police to provide the name of an officer at protests, you have to give them the officer’s names first," 10 July 2020 Children under age 2 are exempt from the rule, as are people eating or drinking in an outdoor dining establishment. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Coronavirus update: Surging states should ‘pause,’ not completely shutdown, Fauci says," 10 July 2020 Sales between close family members are still exempt from a background check. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Virginia governor ceremoniously signs several gun control bills," 10 July 2020 Although previous rulings state that the military is exempt from Title VII, the decision has given those who oppose the trans military ban grounds to push for change. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "116 Lawmakers Are Demanding An Immediate Reversal Of Trump’s Trans Military Ban," 9 July 2020 The justices also weighed whether employers with religious or moral objections should be exempt from providing insurance coverage for contraceptives. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court upholds autonomy of religious employers in employment discrimination cases," 9 July 2020 Crew members are currently exempt from a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "United and American Airlines cancel Hong Kong flights over crew Covid-19 tests," 9 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Metro’s current plan would exempt businesses with 25 or fewer employees. oregonlive, "Metro eyes payroll tax for $7 billion transportation package as business groups formally call for delay," 8 July 2020 Those include Facebook's decision to exempt politicians from fact-checking, even when President Donald Trump posted false information about voting by mail. CBS News, "Facebook civil rights audit: "Serious setbacks" hurt progress," 8 July 2020 Another new law effective Wednesday also will exempt educational digital content from sales tax. Nyamekye Daniel, Washington Examiner, "North Carolina officials and state workers get pay raises to start new fiscal year," 1 July 2020 Baker announced that the state will exempt travelers from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey from the state’s two week self-quarantine advisory. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: Mike Pence to visit Arizona; Massachusetts reports zero deaths; California to 'tighten' restrictions," 1 July 2020 The police also exempt children under 10 from requiring masks, and makes exceptions for exercising, health risks, and eating for all mask wearing individuals. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Jersey Village to adhere to COVID-19 ordinances put in place by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo," 23 June 2020 Many jurisdictions explicitly exempt people with medical conditions or disabilities from wearing a mask. Sasha Hupka, azcentral, "Face masks FAQ: 8 things to know about wearing a mask in Maricopa County," 22 June 2020 The rules exempt small children and people with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing face coverings. Fortune, "United vows to ban passengers who refuse to wear face masks," 16 June 2020 But rather than drop its effort to exempt the project, the city added a common-sense exemption to its options. Cynthia Dizikes, SFChronicle.com, "Exclusive: How SF sidestepped state law on developing toxic sites," 7 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The electric-car maker clashed with Fremont officials last month over whether its factory was an essential business exempt from shutdown orders. BostonGlobe.com, "Stories you may have missed from the world of business," 26 Apr. 2020 Donations made directly to the NRA would not qualify as tax exempt. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Charles Schwab charitable fund halts donations to NRA," 27 Nov. 2019 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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Time Traveler for exempt

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for exempt

Last Updated

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exempt.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exempt. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for exempt


How to pronounce exempt (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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