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 France has always wanted to exert an independence from the U.S., which has made its relations with NATO an off-and-on alliance. The Editors, National Review, "NATO Is Still Essential," 4 Dec. 2019 Mayfield’s bill would require the state to exert authority over the Federal Railroad Administration wherever necessary to ensure rail corridors and operating equipment are safe. Andrew Boryga, sun-sentinel.com, "Why is Brightline facing so many deaths? We need to ‘do more’ to stop them, CEO says.," 4 Dec. 2019 Wooden’s proposals, which still need the approval of the state’s Investment Advisory Council, are part of a larger movement to exert financial pressure on the gun industry. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Connecticut to divest $30M in gun stocks in effort to shape gun control debate," 3 Dec. 2019 The cultural dynamics got even more complicated in the early 20th century, when people from other ethnic groups began using blackface either to exert their social rank over that of black people, or in a bid for acceptance by other white people. Brianna Holt, Quartzy, "Teens on TikTok have no clue they’re perpetuating racist stereotypes," 1 Nov. 2019 Changing Canadian health care will take leadership and the ability to stand up to a private sector that knows how to exert pressure. Danielle Martin, STAT, "It’s time for Canada to embrace universal pharmacare and protect drug coverage from corporate erosion," 28 Oct. 2019 The current prior, who joined a Fascist party in his youth, has repeatedly defied the government’s attempts to exert authority, including by blocking the exhumation. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "Franco’s Body Is Exhumed, as Spain Still Struggles to Confront the Past," 26 Oct. 2019 That’s likely to exert enormous pressure on the aviation sector. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Shipping is overtaking aviation in emission reductions," 3 Oct. 2019 The essay nevertheless manages to exert a sneaky power on the reader, despite being so chopped and screwed. Ian Allen, The New Republic, "The Far Right’s Apocalyptic Literary Canon," 1 Oct. 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

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Exert.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exert?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=e&file=exert001. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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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).


heavy with or as if with moisture

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