ex·​ult ig-ˈzəlt How to pronounce exult (audio)
exulted; exulting; exults

intransitive verb

: to be extremely joyful : rejoice
the team exulted in their victory
obsolete : to leap for joy
exultingly adverb

Did you know?

Exult leaped into English in the 16th century as a verb meaning "to leap for joy." George Chapman used it that way in a translation of Homer's Iliad: "To drive his chariot through the waves. From whirl pits every way the whales exulted under him," he interprets. This use of the verb skipped around in English until the 18th century, when it gracefully exited the everyday lexicon, leaving the verb's other meaning—"to be extremely joyful; to rejoice"—to stay the course. Exult springs from Latin saltare ("to leap"), also the source of saltation, a word for leaping as well as dancing. Another etymological cousin of exult is sally, meaning "to leap out" or "to set out," as in "After the storm passed, the hikers sallied forth."

Examples of exult in a Sentence

“That was the best meal I've ever had!” he exulted. the winners of the Super Bowl spent the next week exulting in their victory
Recent Examples on the Web India’s technology scene is exulting in the limelight. Alex Travelli, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Members, missionaries and former missionaries exult as the edifice prepares to open. Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Aug. 2023 With each security breach, falsehood and bigoted assumption, the contestants hunched over their laptops exulted. Will Oremus, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Aug. 2023 Industry analysts will predict doom for the future of cinema for months, then exult when a new release defies expectations. David Sims, The Atlantic, 25 July 2023 The war was needed so that a bunch of animals could simply exult in glory. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, 27 June 2023 Now, after three years of relying largely on online purchases, many shoppers in China exult in being able to touch fabrics, try on handbags and sunglasses and simply share companionship with others. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 2 May 2023 And then, shockingly, the presentation actually went well, causing the Waystar brain trust to abruptly change their tunes, and Kendall to exult with a cleansing dip in the ocean that certainly didn’t suffer for a lack of symbolism. Brian Lowry, CNN, 30 Apr. 2023 Rowdy ravers and studious music nerds could feel equally at home, exulting in the fact that three very different careers had led three very different producers to the same place, at the same time. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 23 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exult.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle French exulter, from Latin exsultare, literally, to leap up, from ex- + saltare to leap — more at saltation

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of exult was in 1548


Dictionary Entries Near exult

Cite this Entry

“Exult.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exult. Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​ult ig-ˈzəlt How to pronounce exult (audio)
: to be very joyful : rejoice
exultingly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on exult

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