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

There has been incremental movement in the last year — 14 schools were part of a pilot program to reduce the number of searches, and as a part of January’s strike agreement, 16 schools will be exempt from searches this fall. Sonali Kohli, latimes.com, "When LAUSD’s random searches of students end, what’s next for school safety?," 6 July 2019 While the Chiefs didn’t allow Hill to practice this offseason, and the NFL placed him on the commissioner’s exempt list, the Chiefs noticeably haven’t cut Hill yet. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, "NFL offseason often a time for bad news," 6 July 2019 In an initial response, Glouston said the redacted details were trade secrets, which are exempt from disclosure under state public records laws. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Former attorney general and ex-TV reporter dropping lawsuit after getting state-pension records," 3 July 2019 Some of the items not included in the tax-free weekend are: Furniture, such as computer desks Non-educational video games Tax exempt school supplies School supplies of $50 or less per article are tax free. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Alabama back-to-school sales tax holiday is July 19-21: List of tax-free items," 2 July 2019 If not, Deportations start! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019 The operation was scheduled to last several weeks and no one was exempt from deportations, including families, Morgan said, according to the Associated Press. Dallas News, "Trump calls for two-week delay in ICE raids 'at the request of Democrats'," 22 June 2019 Why would a split with the church impact Cathedral's tax exempt status? Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Unanswered questions about Cathedral, Brebeuf Jesuit and the Indianapolis Archdiocese," 20 June 2019 The tournament replaces The National on the PGA Tour's Open Qualifying Series, tournaments where up to two non-exempt players can receive entry into the British Open. Greg Levinsky, Detroit Free Press, "Sounds like Tiger Woods won't play in Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit," 17 June 2019 But 32 states have introduced bills to make menstrual products tax-exempt since 2016 and these efforts have failed—in many cases, more than once. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "35 States in the U.S. Still Charge Women a Tampon Tax," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That appears to have been the case for Hingis, who, as mentioned above, was exempted from the 1994 rule change. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Coco Gauff and the Legality of the Teenager Professional Athlete," 3 July 2019 Facing fierce opposition by Democratic and Republican governors in all coastal states, after the Trump administration announced the opening of offshore oil drilling, only battleground state Florida has been exempted. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Popular Vote backers miss a key Electoral College rationale," 27 June 2019 Oil and gas well drilling is exempted from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's process safety management standard, which governs safety for chemical plants. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Report finds sweeping blame and negligence for fatal Oklahoma rig explosion," 12 June 2019 Beyond the three-fifths rule, the international slave trade was exempted from regulation by the federal government, which otherwise oversaw foreign commerce. Nicholas Guyatt, The New York Review of Books, "How Proslavery Was the Constitution?," 6 June 2019 Certain businesses, including hospitals and seafood shippers, are exempted from the ban. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "Maine passes the U.S.'s first state ban on foam food packaging," 2 May 2019 The designation exempts the commission from some HUD rules and allows it the flexibility to create programs aimed at helping clients become self-sufficient while using federal dollars more efficiently. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Grand Jury praises city program that aims to help families become self-sufficient," 21 June 2019 Heckman is testifying in front of the U.S. Trade Commission on Thursday in hopes of exempting fireworks from the tariffs to avoid economic impact on the industry. Madeline Purdue, USA TODAY, "This holiday could fizzle if the US-China trade war blows up," 19 June 2019 Until a few years ago, California parents were also able to claim personal-belief reasons for exempting their children from vaccination requirements. NBC News, "Jessica Biel denies she's anti-vaccination after lobbying against California bill," 13 June 2019

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

10 Jul 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

What made you want to look up exempt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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