ex·​emp·​tion | \ ig-ˈzem(p)-shən How to pronounce exemption (audio) \

Definition of exemption

1 : the act of exempting or state of being exempt : immunity
2 : one that exempts or is exempted especially : a source or amount of income exempted from taxation

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Synonyms for exemption


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Examples of exemption in a Sentence

They were granted exemptions from military service. You can claim a tax exemption for each of your dependents.
Recent Examples on the Web In late October, Dailey announced Johnson would receive an exemption to play in the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open and taste the PGA Tour for the first time, starting Jan. 28. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Kamaiu Johnson tested on rugged road to PGA Tour stop at Torrey Pines," 24 Dec. 2020 If an employee requests an exemption, the employer needs to initiate an interactive process with the employee to determine if any accommodations can be made. Anchorage Daily News, "Can employers require their employees get a COVID-19 vaccination?," 22 Dec. 2020 Five years earlier, roughly 41,000 students used conscientious exemption. Talia Richman, Dallas News, "Could Texas students eventually be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine?," 21 Dec. 2020 Before Secretary Mattis, Congress had allowed only one exemption since passing the 1947 National Security Act, for Army Gen. George Marshall in 1950. Mike Gallagher, WSJ, "No More Generals Atop the Pentagon," 20 Dec. 2020 What a final bill looks like, how much say the NCAA will have over what kinds of deals athletes can make and whether it is granted an antitrust exemption to prevent future lawsuits is unclear. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: With Supreme Court, Congress poised to act, 2021 could be historic year for NCAA," 16 Dec. 2020 Each exemption did not create 15 new jobs, a key threshold for a company of Folgers' size. Della Hasselle, NOLA.com, "Folger's $2.9 million tax breaks rejected by Orleans School Board members," 15 Dec. 2020 Other bills include an overtime exemption and a ban on the death penalty for seriously mentally ill criminals. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Is state legislators’ lax reaction to the coronavirus dooming important lawmaking? This Week in the CLE," 11 Dec. 2020 An exemption to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act could change that. Kyle Wiens, Wired, "Copyright Law Is Bricking Your Game Console. Time to Fix That," 11 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exemption.' 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 exemption

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for exemption

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for exemption

Last Updated

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exemption.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exemption. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce exemption (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exemption

: freedom from being required to do something that others are required to do
: a source or amount of income that is not taxed


ex·​emp·​tion | \ ig-ˈzemp-shən How to pronounce exemption (audio) \

Kids Definition of exemption

: freedom from having to do something that other people are required to do


ex·​emp·​tion | \ ig-ˈzemp-shən How to pronounce exemption (audio) \

Legal Definition of exemption

1 : the act of exempting or state of being exempt
2 : one that exempts or is exempted: as
a : an amount of income exempted from taxation that may be deducted from adjusted gross income under the tax laws — see also Internal Revenue Code — compare deduction, exclusion, tax credit
dependency exemption \ də-​ˈpen-​dən-​sē-​ \
: an exemption that is allowed for each dependent who qualifies under the tax laws (as sections 151 and 152 of the Internal Revenue Code)

Note: Under the federal income tax laws, the dependency exemption is allowed for each dependent whose gross income is less than the exemption or who is a child of the taxpayer and is under 19 or a student under 24.

personal exemption
: an exemption that is allowed for the taxpayer or for the taxpayer and spouse if filing a joint return
b : the right created by federal and state laws to exempt specified types of property from a bankruptcy estate precludes the debtor from using the exemptions in the Bankruptcy Code also : a type of property that may be claimed as exempt — see also Bankruptcy Code

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