ex·​ert | \ ig-ˈzərt \
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

The pressure exerted by these materials distorts the magnetosphere, bringing it in contact with the ionosphere. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Group of Scientists Want to Launch a Satellite to Make an Artificial Aurora," 29 Oct. 2018 Same with people who are exposed to strong chemicals or odors on the job (like in a factory or fast food kitchen) or people who get dirty or exert themselves physically while working outdoors. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Often Should You Really Shower?," 10 Jan. 2019 As Iovine wrote for Man Repeller, orbiting may be a way of exerting control over someone. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, ""Orbiting" Is the New Breakup Habit That's Worse Than Ghosting," 11 Dec. 2018 The solution: barges with itineraries that let sporty types exert themselves enough to fend off tedium. Sara Tucker, WSJ, "European Barge Cruises That Are Anything But Boring," 6 Sep. 2018 But in making the case for new transparency obligations for websites, Pai argued that big Web platforms exert more power than ISPs. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai does ISPs’ bidding, pushes for tighter rules on Google and Facebook," 6 Sep. 2018 Conte regularly grumbled about his failure to exert control, particularly over transfers and was always likely to be fired this offseason. Steve Douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Chelsea replace Conte with former Napoli boss Sarri," 14 July 2018 Unlike Trump, McMaster respects international alliances and sees value in protracted troop deployments, but both men regard the world as a dangerous arena in which the U.S. should not be afraid to exert its will. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "McMaster and Commander," 23 Apr. 2018 If such attempts at exerting soft power in Washington are not enough to win over government officials, Amazon will at least have a back-up plan. The Economist, "A tale of two WashingtonsIt make sense for Amazon to build its second HQ near Washington," 8 Mar. 2018

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

5 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 \
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).


to deny responsibility for

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