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

Synonyms for exert


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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
Recent Examples on the Web Under Sheikh Mohammed's de facto rule, the UAE has intervened in regional conflicts from Yemen to Libya, used its vast oil wealth to exert sway abroad and transformed into a regional financial hub. Isabel Debre And Jon Gambrell, USA TODAY, 16 May 2022 Trump now has a definitive rebuttal to those who believed his grip over the party was loosening, and Republican candidates in other states are certain to exert even more energy trying to win his approval. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 4 May 2022 The story of Martha Mitchell is largely about power and influence and how men react to a woman trying to exert it. David Marchese, New York Times, 15 Apr. 2022 The greater danger, observers say, is if Russia’s more indiscriminate use of land mines also proves successful in slowing Ukrainian forces and in turn inspires nations seeking to exert dominance over others. Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2022 Even though the loss of revenues would exert further pressure on the Russian economy, such a move could cause greater pain in European countries, in the form of energy shortages and sharply higher prices. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 28 Feb. 2022 The consequences here could not be clearer, with the actors and audience collectively realizing that the only way to exert absolute power over something is to destroy it. Lauren Warnecke, chicagotribune.com, 25 Feb. 2022 Alternately, approach No. 2 is a high-frequency strategy wherein people exert a jerky, rapidly changing force on the mug. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, 2 May 2022 Ustenko said Washington should exert more pressure on its European allies to join an energy embargo. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of exert was circa 1630

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Exert.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exert. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for exert


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on exert

Nglish: Translation of exert for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exert for Arabic Speakers


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