exploit

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

Definition of exploit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: deed, act especially : a notable, memorable, or heroic act a daring exploit a book about his youthful exploits I took out the list of Professor Challenger's exploits, and I read it over under the electric lamp. — Arthur Conan Doyle About midnight the gang returned, with various articles of plunder, and talked over their exploits— Sir Walter Scott It used to be rare for C.I.A. employees to recount their exploits, or grievances, in print. — Alex Berenson

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 JPMorgan investigating possible Covid bailout fraud … High-flying Chainlink crypto system suffers minor exploit … London QAnon rally targets blockchain. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Is the SushiSwap saga a preview of a new wave of crypto chaos?," 9 Sep. 2020 One use for the exploit is directing large amounts of junk traffic to destinations of the attacker’s choice. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "UPnP flaw exposes millions of network devices to attacks over the Internet," 11 June 2020 An athletic 27-year-old from Clinton, Oklahoma, Newton aimed to be the first person to swim the river’s length, hoping the exploit would bring wealth and fame. Greg Miller, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Man Who Swam the Full Length of the Mississippi River," 19 Aug. 2020 The only problem, according to security researcher Bernardo Quintero who discovered the exploit? Robert Hackett, Fortune, "Don’t click that Zoom invitation!," 19 Aug. 2020 These types of attacks usually indicate a threat actor of above-average means because of the work and skill required to identify the unknown vulnerability and develop a reliable exploit. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "0days, a failed patch, and a backdoor threat. Update Tuesday highlights," 12 Aug. 2020 An attacker has already broken the security of the target machine through a software exploit or a malicious virtual machine that compromises the integrity of the system. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Plundering of crypto keys from ultrasecure SGX sends Intel scrambling again," 9 June 2020 Diamondbacks left fielder David Peralta is known for being a fixture at the dugout opening, often the first to greet a teammate in celebration of a particular exploit. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Baseball 2020 at a social distance: imaginary high-fives, no fraternization, lots of space," 8 July 2020 Even when successfully targeting a buffer overflow or other vulnerability, the exploit resulted only in a system or application crash rather than a fatal system compromise. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Intel will soon bake anti-malware defenses directly into its CPUs," 15 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Below is an example of why playing Harrison as a deep safety could exploit Woods’ defense. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "How will safety Ronnie Harrison help the Browns defense? -- Film review," 8 Sep. 2020 Yet the media-Democratic chorus only gets alarmed at the prospect that Mr. Trump might exploit it. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Says Vote Early and Often," 3 Sep. 2020 Older adults are especially vulnerable, experts say, because scammers exploit those who may be isolated, lonely or not tech-savvy. Sheryl Jean, Dallas News, "How to spot a scam aimed at older adults," 25 Aug. 2020 Iran, meanwhile, expressed concern that Western countries and their allies might exploit anger over the explosion to pursue their political interests. Bassem Mroue, USA TODAY, "Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab steps down in wake of Beirut explosion, protests: Corruption is 'bigger than the state'," 11 Aug. 2020 Iran, meanwhile, expressed concern that Western countries and their allies might exploit anger over the explosion to pursue their political interests. Arkansas Online, "Lebanon's Cabinet resigns over Beirut blast amid public fury," 10 Aug. 2020 Iran, meanwhile, expressed concern that Western countries and their allies might exploit anger over the explosion to pursue their political interests. Bassem Mroue, Anchorage Daily News, "Lebanese prime minister steps down in wake of Beirut explosion and protests," 10 Aug. 2020 Iran meanwhile expressed concern that Western countries and their allies might exploit anger over the explosion to pursue their political interests. Fox News, "Beirut explosion death toll surpasses 200 as third Lebanese minister resigns," 10 Aug. 2020 Iran meanwhile expressed concern that Western countries and their allies might exploit anger over the explosion to pursue their political interests. Bassem Mroue, chicagotribune.com, "Lebanon’s Cabinet resigns under pressure after last week’s deadly explosion in Beirut," 10 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for exploit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for exploit

Last Updated

16 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exploit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exploit. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for exploit

exploit

noun
How to pronounce exploit (audio) How to pronounce exploit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exploit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an exciting act or action

exploit

verb
How to pronounce exploit (audio) How to pronounce exploit (audio)

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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Comments on exploit

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