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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile Spurs face off against Leicester City in their last league game at Wembley on Sunday, seeing Harry Kane require a hat-trick in order to equal Liverpool's Mohamed Salah's goal scoring exploits for the season. SI.com, "Harry Kane Believes Champions League Football in Spurs' New Stadium Will Keep Stars at the Club," 11 May 2018 Co-written with his brother, Carlos Cuarón,Sólo con Tu Pareja, follows the exploits of Tomás Tomás, a lothario who is eventually taught a lesson by an ex-lover. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Roma Director Alfonso Cuarón? You've Definitely Seen His Incredible Movies," 23 Feb. 2019 Amelia Earhart’s flying exploits made her famous in the 1920s. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Rosemary Mariner, Spurned by Airline Executive, Led Way for Female Pilots in U.S. Navy," 15 Feb. 2019 Trend Micro's flashy paper lays out the various exploits hackers found to be possible, which range widely in severity. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Industrial Cranes Are Disturbingly Hackable," 16 Jan. 2019 Animated by Hanna-Barbera, Jonny Quest followed the globe-trotting exploits of the titular character and his father Dr. Benton C. Quest, a gifted scientist for the U.S. government. Josh Weiss, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Incredibles 2' TV References Are More Than Easter Eggs," 17 June 2018 For hours on Tuesday, Twitter users followed the exploits of the daredevil free-climbing raccoon. Bani Sapra, CNN, "Raccoon captivates internet with Minnesota skyscraper climb," 13 June 2018 Microsoft said that customers who have Windows Update enabled and have applied the latest security updates are automatically protected against exploits. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Microsoft issues emergency update to fix critical IE flaw under active exploit," 20 Dec. 2018 To combat these problems, League of Legends has an anti-cheat team that is composed of analysts, data scientists, and even ex-cheaters who come together to identify ways of deterring, preventing, and detecting exploits. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "League of Legends catches cheaters by making bots fight each other," 24 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But how did athletics become the weak point that could be exploited so effectively by scammers? Tyler Kingkade, Town & Country, "College Admissions Has a Fact-Checking Problem. Here's Why.," 24 Mar. 2019 This compelling story of the rise and fall of a charismatic populist and the reporter who covers him, provides a timely insight into both the political process and how the flaws in human nature can be exploited. Steve Israel, chicagotribune.com, "What's the greatest book about politics? Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and others weigh in.," 12 July 2018 Many petitioners understand this, know how to exploit our system, and are able to enter the U.S., avoid removal, and remain in the country. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Trump administration activates new asylum crackdown; potentially valid claims could be denied," 12 July 2018 Overriding coastal elitist tree-hugger concerns about exploiting fossil-fuel resources to the max hits every Trumpian sweet spot. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Dumps Obama Effort to Prevent Oil Spills," 22 June 2018 As a choke point in the global economy, the port has historically been exploited by criminals who force payoffs and other kickbacks by controlling who unloads the ships and how quickly. CBS News, "Agency created to fight organized crime on New York, New Jersey docks may be pushed out," 22 June 2018 Parties of the nationalist right have learned from the left how to exploit identity politics. The Economist, "After decades of triumph, democracy is losing ground," 14 June 2018 Drupal maintainers didn't provide details on how the vulnerability can be exploited other than to say that attacks work remotely. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Drupal users take cover—code-execution bug is being actively exploited [updated]," 25 Apr. 2018 But there are opportunities for bad actors to exploit the halo created by quality work of legitimate manufacturers to instead distribute and sell dangerous products that put consumers at risk. Korin Miller, SELF, "The FDA Will Finally Crack Down on Dietary Supplements—Here's What Experts Have to Say," 11 Feb. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exploit

Statistics for exploit

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exploit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on exploit

What made you want to look up exploit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!