Definition of exigent
1 : requiring immediate aid or action exigent circumstances
2 : requiring or calling for much : demanding an exigent client
exigent was our Word of the Day on 06/15/2012. Hear the podcast!
Examples of exigent in a Sentence
started his workday with a flood of exigent matters that required his quick decision
Recent Examples of exigent from the Web
The new DoJ policy allows for exigent circumstances or exceptional circumstances, whereby law enforcement agents can use stingrays without a search warrant in emergency situations, when obtaining a warrant is not practical.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exigent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
This writ seemeth to be called an Exigent because it exacteth the party, that is, requireth his expearance or forthcomming, to answer the lawe. Writer John Cowell, referring in 1607 to a writ summoning a person on pain of outlawry, clearly recognized "exigent" as a derivative of Latin exigere, which means "to demand." Over the last five centuries we have demanded a lot from "exigent." It has served as a legal term (as in Cowell's quote), as well as a noun meaning either "an emergency" or "an end or extremity." Nowadays, the adjective is seen frequently in legal contexts referring to "exigent circumstances," such as those used to justify a search by police without a warrant.
Origin and Etymology of exigent
Latin exigent-, exigens, present participle of exigere to demand — more at exact
First Known Use: 1624
EXIGENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of exigent for English Language Learners
: requiring immediate attention : needing to be dealt with immediately
: expecting much time, attention, effort, etc., from other people
Learn More about exigent
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exigent
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up exigent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).