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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Synonyms for exert


apply, exercise, ply, put out, wield

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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

Barnes & Noble chairman and founder Leonard Riggio, who exerts significant control over the retailer, has agreed to support the deal. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Barnes & Noble acquired: Elliott Management buys bookstore chain, plans 'growth strategy'," 25 Mar. 2019 At the center of it all, the world's busiest intersection exerts a gravitational pull that keeps everything, from swank cocktail bars to gritty, back alley watering holes, in its orbit. Davey Young, Condé Nast Traveler, "What To Do in Shibuya: Our Guide," 5 Mar. 2018 Chiropractors in the United States also use this form of kinesiology, without the pendulum, but that pendulum exerted the same fascination on me as Walter Max’s leeches. Joan Juliet Buck, Town & Country, "Why I Put My Faith In Alternative Medicine," 8 Dec. 2017 Nostalgia exerts its pull on all of us at some point. Bryan Burrough, WSJ, "‘The Last Stone’ Review: The Past Isn’t Even Past," 12 Apr. 2019 Instead, Pelosi frames the investigations ahead as Congress exerting its constitutional duty to the necessary checks and balances on the executive that voters want. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Oversight or overreach? Democrats wrestle with Trump probes," 24 Mar. 2019 If the clamping force is greater than the load exerted between, say, the head and the block, those two pieces will never spontaneously get loose. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How to Use a Torque Wrench to Keep Your Car from Flying Apart," 26 Feb. 2019 The recent Golden Globe winner is fantastic as a brooding detective, and the occult atmospherics and the rural American landscape exert their irresistible (if familiar) pull. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Three New Crime Shows To Get Hooked on Now," 12 Jan. 2019 The movie, which begins streaming on Netflix on Friday, explores power, race, corporate ownership and how people try to exert control over their lives. Caryn James, WSJ, "In ‘High Flying Bird,’ Athletes Maneuver Off the Court," 2 Feb. 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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Statistics for exert

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for exert

The first known use of exert was circa 1630

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More Definitions for exert



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exert

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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