Definition of exigent
- exigent circumstances
- an exigent client
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started his workday with a flood of exigent matters that required his quick decision
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.
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.
: requiring immediate attention : needing to be dealt with immediately
: expecting much time, attention, effort, etc., from other people
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exigent
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