ex·​haus·​tive | \ ig-ˈzȯ-stiv How to pronounce exhaustive (audio) \

Definition of exhaustive

: including all possibilities : thorough conducted an exhaustive search

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from exhaustive

exhaustively adverb
exhaustiveness noun
exhaustivity \ ig-​ˌzȯ-​ˈsti-​və-​tē How to pronounce exhaustivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of exhaustive in a Sentence

The list was long but not exhaustive. after an exhaustive search of our house, we still hadn't found the cat

Recent Examples on the Web

Of course, the extent of location-tracking in popular apps is far more exhaustive than just the 20 reviewed by the Times. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Popular Apps Are Tracking And Selling Your Location Data to an Alarming Degree," 10 Dec. 2018 Richard Klein, a professor of urban studies and business at Cleveland State, wrote an exhaustive account of the evolution of drug stores, chronicling their rise from neighborhood stores to nationwide giants. Patrick Cooley, cleveland.com, "Cleveland State University professor's book reveals history of the drug store industry," 7 Jan. 2018 An exhaustive decontamination effort that began in April focused on nine sites related to the Skripals’ movements on March 4, the day they were stricken. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "2 in U.K. Exposed to Novichok, Nerve Agent That Sickened Ex-Spy," 4 July 2018 Moments later, the final whistle blew and the Iranian players laid on the grass after their exhaustive effort. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Spain Overcomes Iran’s Stubborn Defense in the World Cup," 20 June 2018 Rubin’s pure jubilation punctuated his and countless others’ exhaustive efforts to seek justice for Meek. Jake Fischer, SI.com, "Liberty At Last: The Process Behind the 76ers' Bell-Ringing Ceremony," 4 May 2018 After conversations with general manager Dayton Moore and his staff and exhaustive efforts from the front office, the Royals decided to offer El-Abour a chance. Maria Torres, kansascity, "How Reggie Sanders influenced the Royals to sign a player with autism | The Kansas City Star," 14 Apr. 2018 This list is not exhaustive — don't hesitate to do your own research on ways to help, and remember above all to listen to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Allure, "6 Ways to Support Transgender and Nonbinary People Right Now," 21 Oct. 2018 For one thing, the search probably isn’t exhaustive. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open," 17 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exhaustive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of exhaustive

circa 1789, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exhaustive

Statistics for exhaustive

Last Updated

2 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exhaustive

The first known use of exhaustive was circa 1789

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for exhaustive



English Language Learners Definition of exhaustive

: including all possibilities : very thorough

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on exhaustive

What made you want to look up exhaustive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an enemy or opponent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!