exploit

noun
ex·​ploit | \ ˈek-ˌsplȯit How to pronounce exploit (audio) , ik-ˈsplȯit How to pronounce exploit (audio) \

Definition of exploit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: deed, act especially : a notable or heroic act

exploit

verb
ex·​ploit | \ ik-ˈsplȯit How to pronounce exploit (audio) , ˈek-ˌsplȯit How to pronounce exploit (audio) \
exploited; exploiting; exploits

Definition of exploit (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make productive use of : utilize exploiting your talents exploit your opponent's weakness
2 : to make use of meanly or unfairly for one's own advantage exploiting migrant farm workers

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Other Words from exploit

Verb

exploitability \ ik-​ˌsploi-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce exploitability (audio) \ noun
exploitable \ ik-​ˈsplȯi-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce exploitable (audio) \ adjective
exploiter noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exploit

Noun

feat, exploit, achievement mean a remarkable deed. feat implies strength or dexterity or daring. an acrobatic feat exploit suggests an adventurous or heroic act. his exploits as a spy achievement implies hard-won success in the face of difficulty or opposition. her achievements as a chemist

Examples of exploit in a Sentence

Noun

the fanciful exploits of the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan once famed as an actor, John Wilkes Booth is now remembered for a single exploit, his assassination of Lincoln

Verb

He has never fully exploited his talents. Top athletes are able to exploit their opponents' weaknesses. She said the tragedy had been exploited by the media.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Whether Pepe is in line for his Gunners debut is not yet known, with the player having had an extended holiday following his country's exploits in the African Cup of Nations, and concerns remaining over his match fitness. SI.com, "Nicolas Pepe's Former Coach Reveals Ivorian's Original Position Ahead of Premier League Debut," 11 Aug. 2019 The film will be narrated by Jamie Foxx and chronicle Rodman’s Hall of Fame career and infamous exploits on and off the court. Los Angeles Times, "Column: U.S. women’s soccer needs investment in domestic league," 10 Aug. 2019 The exploit could be used for nefarious purposes including altering an invoice to trick a customer into paying another account or altering faces in a photo, according to Symantec's research. Alyssa Newcomb, Fortune, "WhatsApp Security Flaw Could Let Hackers Alter Photos, Videos, and Audio Messages," 15 July 2019 Over the years, Meurer, who is now a trustee of the Perot Trust, endured many Ross exploits. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Remembering Ross Perot: Longtime friend Tom Meurer strikes back with a Norman Rockwell joke," 12 July 2019 Drews’ exploits followed those of Robbie Hummel, who led the United States to its first 3x3 World Cup championship at Amsterdam, The Netherlands. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Memo to Tokyo Olympics: Purdue Boilermakers are on their way," 9 July 2019 Williamson’s athletic exploits are well-chronicled. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Texas product Jaxson Hayes will be key part of new-look Pelicans," 26 June 2019 Those star pupils, however, can only do so much to accessorize the cinematic equivalent of a little black dress, where the reduced-to-an-initial exploits of H and M add up to something closer to a B-. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Men in Black' can't catch lightning despite 'Thor' duo," 12 June 2019 Microsoft and a chorus of security professionals have warned of the potential for exploits to sow worldwide disruptions. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Chances of destructive BlueKeep exploit rise with new explainer posted online," 22 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

According to Wondolowski, Almeyda is an expert at finding opponents’ weaknesses and exploiting them. Tom Fitzgerald, SFChronicle.com, "Quakes’ coach doesn’t speak much English, but his team is the talk of MLS," 26 July 2019 No one really believes this whopper — least of all Mel, who is as tough and battered by experience as some of the antiques in his shop — but neither is anyone above exploiting it for personal gain. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Review: Politically barbed ‘Sword of Trust’ takes on Civil War truthers," 25 July 2019 The hack spread by exploiting secure shell, (or SSH) connections that used weak passwords. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Whitehats use DoS attack to score key victory against ransomware crooks," 10 July 2019 With little genuine debate on policy happening in Congress, party leaders distract and divide the public by exploiting wedge issues and waging pointless messaging wars. Justin Amash, Twin Cities, "Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving my party," 10 July 2019 With little genuine debate on policy happening in Congress, party leaders distract and divide the public by exploiting wedge issues and waging pointless messaging wars. Justin Amash, The Denver Post, "Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP," 5 July 2019 The gang collected about $3 million over several years by exploiting the immigrants, using the money to buy luxury cars and other expensive goods, prosecutors said. Palko Karasz, New York Times, "‘Modern Slavery’ Ring in U.K. Ensnared up to 400 Polish People, Authorities Say," 5 July 2019 Trump got into office by exploiting fear and false nostalgia. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Trump needs conflict like normal people need oxygen," 12 June 2019 The wildlife tourism industry caters to people’s love of animals but often seeks to maximize profits by exploiting animals from birth to death. Natasha Daly, National Geographic, "Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism," 12 June 2019

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exploit

Noun

Middle English espleit, expleit, exploit furtherance, outcome, from Anglo-French, from Latin explicitum, neuter of explicitus, past participle

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Statistics for exploit

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exploit

The first known use of exploit was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for exploit

exploit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of exploit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an exciting act or action

exploit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exploit (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get value or use from (something)
: to use (someone or something) in a way that helps you unfairly

exploit

noun
ex·​ploit | \ ˈek-ˌsplȯit How to pronounce exploit (audio) \

Kids Definition of exploit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an exciting or daring act

exploit

verb
ex·​ploit | \ ik-ˈsplȯit How to pronounce exploit (audio) \
exploited; exploiting

Kids Definition of exploit (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get the value or use out of exploit an opportunity
2 : to take unfair advantage of He had a reputation for exploiting his workers.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exploit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exploit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exploit

Spanish Central: Translation of exploit

Nglish: Translation of exploit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exploit for Arabic Speakers

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