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

Leon Neal / Getty An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exerts more control over brands. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: ‘I don’t think Amazon understands how close they are to blowing themselves up’," 29 Nov. 2018 That means residents should avoid being outside and exerting themselves, particularly people with heart and lung problems, the elderly, and children. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Breathing Seattle’s air right now is like smoking 7 cigarettes. Blame wildfires.," 21 Aug. 2018 Prosecutors contend Mark Andrews was a conman, who told lies to exert control and power and obtain money. Deanna Boyd, star-telegram, "Professional gambler found guilty of killing his wife with a hammer | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 28 Feb. 2018 One source of stress has come from a sharp drop in oil prices, which exert an especially strong influence on junk bonds because of the large amount of debt issued by speculative-grade energy companies. Sam Goldfarb, WSJ, "Debt-Market Slowdown Troubles Investors," 18 Nov. 2018 With these in place, the micro-drones can pull well above their 100-gram weight, exerting 40 newtons of force or enough to lift four kilograms (about eight pounds). James Vincent, The Verge, "Micro-drones with winches can open doors and lift 40 times their own weight," 24 Oct. 2018 Yameen also consolidated power by exerting control over the courts, bureaucracy, police and the military. Fox News, "Maldives opposition: President attempting to stay in power," 28 Sep. 2018 The effort has been weighed down by British regulators’ concerns that the Murdoch family already exerts too much control over the country’s media. New York Times, "Comcast and Fox Engage in Bidding War for Control of Sky," 11 July 2018 Torreira can stay deep in the midfield, shielding his defensive lineup, and can still exert his influence on his team in attack. SI.com, "Arsenal Set to Trigger Buy-Out Clause of Serie A Wonderkid After Reaching Transfer Agreement," 10 June 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

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exert

The first known use of exert was circa 1630

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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).


a nest or breeding place

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