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 Bryant said that her four children have obtained the religious exemption in the past. Eliza Fawcett, courant.com, 18 July 2021 An earlier version of the bill limited the exemption to emergency responders, legislative records show. oregonlive, 17 July 2021 Democrats, understanding this, have cooperated (however reluctantly) in reducing the tax (its rate has fallen from 55 percent to 40 percent this century) and expanding the exemption to it (now as high as $25 million for a married couple). Ryan Ellis, National Review, 17 July 2021 Some healthcare advocates say removing the tax exemption would allow funds to be diverted to subsidize ObamaCare exchange plans. Casey Mulligan, WSJ, 16 July 2021 The report regarding the cybersecurity review exemption comes the same day the US is expected to issue a warning to businesses about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong due to the national security law. Jane Li, Quartz, 16 July 2021 Ryan Moore, runner-up at the John Deere Classic, chose not to accept the exemption as the highest finisher among the top five who wasn't already in the British Open. BostonGlobe.com, 13 July 2021 Maria went into hiding until an attorney with Immigrant Defenders Law Center was able to get her case approved for the Title 42 exemption. San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 July 2021 Those using the quarantine exemption must upload their vaccination cards to a state website and also bring a hard copy while traveling. Star Tribune, 2 July 2021

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near exemption

exempt carrier



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Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exemption.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exemption. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for exemption



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

More from Merriam-Webster on exemption

Nglish: Translation of exemption for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exemption for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exemption


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