ex·​er·​tion | \ig-ˈzər-shən \

Definition of exertion 

: the act or an instance of exerting especially : a laborious or perceptible effort

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Examples of exertion in a Sentence

He was panting from the exertion of climbing the stairs. an easy sport that requires little physical exertion

Recent Examples on the Web

When temperatures are high, even a few hours of exertion may cause severe dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Anita Snow, The Seattle Times, "California urges power conservation during heat wave," 23 July 2018 When neurons in the parts of the brain that regulate movement need less stimulation to fire, the brain perceives less exertion in those movements, allowing athletes to push harder and longer. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte broke doping rules. It happens far more than you think.," 24 July 2018 But there can also be acute triggers for heart attacks, like exertion, strong emotions, natural disasters, and, studies show, watching a tense soccer game. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How watching the World Cup final might affect your health," 14 July 2018 Beyond that even minimal exertion can lead to difficulty in breathing and immediate exhaustion. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Why the trapped Thai soccer team is in increasing trouble: they’re running out of oxygen," 6 July 2018 Unlike steady-state cardio, HIIT alternates between short bursts of all-out exertion and rest. Philly.com, "A cardio circuit for people who hate running," 26 June 2018 This can lead to a persistent cough, labored breathing, and greater perceived exertion upon exercise, all of which are common among climbers or even just people traveling from sea level to Colorado. Brad Stulberg, Outside Online, "What Happens to Your Body When You Climb Everest," 11 June 2018 Perfectly held poses, split-second rotations, and intense exertions all absolutely explode in the 4K HDR format. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The Winter Olympics in 4K and HDR: A pain in many ways, but gosh, those sparkles," 15 Feb. 2018 This local failure has forced the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee into extraordinary exertions to avoid losing these seats to the GOP in June. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "One of Trump's top California critics could help him hold the House," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exertion.' 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 exertion

1677, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near exertion







exert one self

Statistics for exertion

Last Updated

27 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exertion

The first known use of exertion was in 1677

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More Definitions for exertion



English Language Learners Definition of exertion

: physical or mental effort


ex·​er·​tion | \ig-ˈzər-shən \

Kids Definition of exertion

1 : the act of putting into use They won by the exertion of great effort.

2 : use of strength or ability The game requires physical exertion.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exertion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exertion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exertion

Spanish Central: Translation of exertion

Nglish: Translation of exertion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exertion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exertion

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to enclose within walls

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