ex·​ert | \ ig-ˈzərt How to pronounce exert (audio) \
exerted; exerting; exerts

Definition of exert

transitive verb

1a : to put forth (strength, effort, etc.) the force is exerted sideways
b : to put (oneself) into action or to tiring effort won't have to exert himself moving the table
2 : to bring to bear especially with sustained effort or lasting effect exerted a bad influence on his students
3 : employ, wield exerted her leadership abilities intelligently

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Examples of exert in a Sentence

He had to exert all of his strength to move the stone. He exerts a lot of influence on the other members of the committee. the force exerted by the machine
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Recent Examples on the Web Within Iran, was widely seen as exerting more influence over the country’s foreign policy than even the country’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Tim Arango, New York Times, "Qassim Suleimani, Master of Iran’s Intrigue, Built a Shiite Axis of Power in Mideast," 3 Jan. 2020 But before the Mavericks exerted their will, Golden State flashed its offensive potential with a 41-point first quarter that included 18 points from Russell on just eight shots. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors snap 4-game winning streak with loss to Mavericks," 28 Dec. 2019 Its solution: The state and its agencies should exert more control over local officials. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, "School safety plans rely on ‘chewing gum, duct tape and hope.’ Lawmakers vow to act.," 12 Dec. 2019 The courtroom battle that followed often centered on whether McDonald’s exerted enough control over franchisees to be considered such. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Federal labor board backs McDonald’s in unionization case," 12 Dec. 2019 Officials in Western democracies have grown anxious in recent years at China’s increasing dexterity at exerting influence far from its shores. The Economist, "Fumbling the capture China tries, and fails, to influence the Czechs," 5 Dec. 2019 And more than most Asian countries, Indonesia — particularly its capital, Jakarta, with its more than 10 million people — exerts influence over musical taste beyond its borders. Rob Schwartz, Billboard, "With Outsize Streaming Influence, Indonesia's Potential Shines," 14 Nov. 2019 Steiger, who served at the Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush administration, has been a key conduit through which Pence’s office has exerted pressure on USAID, several officials said. Yeganeh Torbati, ProPublica, "How Mike Pence’s Office Meddled in Foreign Aid to Reroute Money to Favored Christian Groups," 6 Nov. 2019 Actors are citizens and should exert those rights by speaking their minds, but the actor's first duty is to his profession. Ronald Reagan, The Hollywood Reporter, "When Ronald Reagan Reassured Hollywood He Wasn't Going Into Politics," 1 Nov. 2019

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

circa 1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for exert

Latin exsertus, past participle of exserere to thrust out, from ex- + serere to join — more at series

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Time Traveler for exert

Time Traveler

The first known use of exert was circa 1630

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Statistics for exert

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exert.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exert. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for exert


How to pronounce exert (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exert

: to use (strength, ability, etc.)
: to cause (force, effort, etc.) to have an effect or to be felt


ex·​ert | \ ig-ˈzərt How to pronounce exert (audio) \
exerted; exerting

Kids Definition of exert

1 : to put forth (as strength) : bring into use He exerted force to open the jar.
2 : to make an effort She exerts herself to help others.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exert

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exert

Spanish Central: Translation of exert

Nglish: Translation of exert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exert for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exert

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


to insert between existing elements

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