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 Its biggest exploit came in August with the capture of the port of Mocimboa da Praia. Declan Walsh, New York Times, "With Village Beheadings, Islamic State Intensifies Attacks in Mozambique," 11 Nov. 2020 Attackers are using the exploit to upload files that contain webshells that are hidden in an image. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Hackers are exploiting a critical flaw affecting >350,000 WordPress sites," 1 Sep. 2020 Enter Zerologon, an exploit developed by researchers from security firm Secura. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "New Windows exploit lets you instantly become admin. Have you patched?," 14 Sep. 2020 Below is a video showing a proof-of-concept exploit that sent all of the target’s photos and contacts to the attacker. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Apple pays $288,000 to white-hat hackers who had run of company’s network," 8 Oct. 2020 The exploit also comes as little surprise; it's been apparent since the original Checkm8 discovery last year that the T2 chip was also vulnerable in the same way. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Apple's T2 Security Chip Has an Unfixable Flaw," 6 Oct. 2020 With that, the researchers were able to achieve a cross-site scripting exploit that injected a malicious payload directly into the internals of the browser built into Jabber. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "A single text is all it took to unleash code-execution worm in Cisco Jabber," 3 Sep. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The report, sent to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office Wednesday, details how the UIA handled an influx of fraudulent claims this spring that were part of an international criminal ring meant to exploit state unemployment programs across the country. Adrienne Roberts, Detroit Free Press, "Report: Mich. unemployment agency's relaxed policies left state vulnerable to fraud," 25 Nov. 2020 Silicon Valley’s global influence is waxing just as America’s conventional imperial power wanes; there will certainly be those in government who would prefer to exploit the power of these monopolies than break them up. Rana Dasgupta, Harper's Magazine, "The Silenced Majority," 24 Nov. 2020 The Hoosiers used him to exploit mismatches with OSU linebackers. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Did Indiana give Ohio State football a preview of what a game against Alabama or Clemson could be like?," 24 Nov. 2020 In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who took office hoping to exploit his rapport with Mr. Trump, pivoted immediately. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Business and World Leaders Move On as Trump Fights to Reverse Election," 20 Nov. 2020 Brian Katulis, a senior fellow for national security at the Center for American Progress, argued that Trump was acting opportunistically, trying to exploit the chance to please his base on his way out the door. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Ending the Forever Wars, by Any Means Necessary," 19 Nov. 2020 However, this standstill could just as easily improve things for any of us who choose to exploit the disrupted work and life patterns to establish new and better routines. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "Sedentary Pandemic Life Is Bad for Our Happiness," 19 Nov. 2020 Edmund Fitton-Brown, coordinator of the United Nations’ Islamic State, al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, told the BBC in October that al-Qaeda and the Islamic State could seek to exploit a weak Afghan state. Michael Birnbaum, Washington Post, "In rare rebuke of Trump, NATO chief warns against troop cuts in Afghanistan," 17 Nov. 2020 There aren't many cracks in the Chicago defense, but the Vikings were able to exploit that matchup throughout the win. Star Tribune, "Vikings spotlight: Kirk Cousins," 17 Nov. 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

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exploit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exploit. Accessed 30 Nov. 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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