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 Syfy has given a straight-to-series order to Chucky, which follows the murderous exploits of the red-haired doll possessed by the spirit of a serial killer. Dan Snierson, EW.com, "Chucky TV series coming to Syfy," 11 Jan. 2020 He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his exploits. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Last Battle of Britain fighter pilot ace dies at 101," 29 Jan. 2020 But the talk in the Bucks locker room was about Jennings’ latest exploits. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ten years later, a look back at Brandon Jennings' 55-point game with the Bucks," 14 Nov. 2019 The dynamic duo low-key continued the show characters' exploits by pretending that Walter was missing. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "Drake Bell Sang the Drake & Josh Theme Song While Walter Watched Like a Proud Dad," 31 Jan. 2020 Nearly all governments, including the U.S., have access to and a cache of 0day exploits to use in their espionage programs. Kristina Libby, Popular Mechanics, "How Jeff Bezos Got Hacked on WhatsApp—and How It Could Happen to You," 26 Jan. 2020 Many of the exploits thus far have installed low-impact malware, including cryptocurrency mining software. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "As attacks begin, Citrix ships patch for VPN vulnerability," 20 Jan. 2020 Spacewalking always carries a high risk but Leonov’s pioneering venture was particularly nerve-racking, according to details of the exploit that only became public decades later. Nataliya Vasilyeva, Los Angeles Times, "Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, 1st human to walk in space, dies at 85," 11 Oct. 2019 That was a necessity of filmmaking, not a physical limit of the exploit. Cameron Faulkner, The Verge, "SimpliSafe’s home security system can be compromised by a $2 wireless emitter," 7 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Capitalism has always transformed people into latent resources, whether as labor to exploit for making products or as consumers to devour those products. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "It Doesn’t Matter If Anyone Exists or Not," 24 Feb. 2020 The Broncos rank in the bottom third of the NFL in both kick coverage (31st) and punt coverage (23rd), with the latter being an area the Lions could possibly exploit. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions vs. Denver Broncos: Dave Birkett's scouting report, prediction," 20 Dec. 2019 An offensive mind like Gus Malzahn should be able to find space in Alabama’s defense for Nix to exploit. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Important Iron Bowl moment here for Auburn’s Gus Malzahn," 27 Nov. 2019 The protesters, news accounts said, believed Collins and the town were being exploited. Freep.com, "Murders of Michigan women still unsolved 50 years later — but cops had eye on 1 man," 10 Nov. 2019 The story of Cambridge Analytica, for instance, is told from the perspective of the people who exploited Facebook’s lax rules and the journalists who uncovered the machinations — not by sticking it to the people who allowed such a catastrophe. Christina Passariello, Washington Post, "How Facebook’s early decisions set the stage for scandal," 28 Feb. 2020 All because the gunman exploited a loophole in our background check system that allows people like him, who are legally prohibited from buying guns, to avoid background checks by going to unlicensed sellers such as gun shows or online markets. Shannon Watts, Time, "The Senate Sits on Commonsense Gun Reform While Americans Die," 27 Feb. 2020 The Cuyahoga County Regional Human Trafficking Task Force carried out a three-year investigation into allegations that Richmond had exploited three teenage girls who ran away from home, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Two teenage girls Cleveland pastor paid for sex were part of child sex trafficking ring, prosecutor says," 27 Feb. 2020 Its policy change comes days after presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people. CBS News, "Facebook changes ad policy after Bloomberg hired influencers," 14 Feb. 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

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exploit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exploit

Spanish Central: Translation of exploit

Nglish: Translation of exploit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exploit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on exploit

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