ex·​ploi·​ta·​tion ˌek-ˌsplȯi-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce exploitation (audio)
: an act or instance of exploiting
exploitation of natural resources
exploitation of immigrant laborers
clever exploitation of the system

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But there is also psychological exploitation, the kind can draw a young person into a terrorist cell, steal his identity or twist run-of-the-mill insecurity into paranoid delusions that women (or Jews or immigrants or whoever) are the enemy. Los Angeles Times, 31 Dec. 2022 There are two other types of reforms that could help create an environment less susceptible to exploitation by patent-hungry pharmaceutical companies. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 14 Dec. 2022 Human Rights Watch Indonesia Researcher Andreas Harsono warned the laws were open to exploitation. Masrur Jamaluddin, CNN, 5 Dec. 2022 Some of that may be as repayment for training; some may simply be exploitation of kids and families seeking the MLB dream. Dallas News, 9 Mar. 2022 Medical exploitation and discrimination, language barriers and concerns about immigration status, childcare and work schedules played big roles. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Jan. 2023 But Chazelle is trying to make a point with all the excess: that the joy of cinema has always gone hand in hand with exploitation, abuse, and off-screen villainy. David Sims, The Atlantic, 23 Dec. 2022 It’s this social thriller that tackles many poignant themes like race, exploitation in art, and capitalism. Los Angeles Times, 6 Dec. 2022 The ordinary exploitation involved in the process of accumulating extraordinary wealth—low wages, poor working conditions, and union busting—is all copacetic. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 18 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from French, from exploiter "to exploit entry 2" + -ation -ation

First Known Use

1795, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exploitation was in 1795

Dictionary Entries Near exploitation

Cite this Entry

“Exploitation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exploitation. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

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