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 From the start, financial jockeying and charges of exploitation surrounded him. David Brown, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Dec. 2022 The order put a large onus on Vilsack to rein in Big Ag, in large part by updating the rules of a 1921 law to protect farmers and consumers from anti-competitive forms of exploitation. Eric Cortellessa, Time, 15 Nov. 2022 But to nefariously prey upon the insecurities of others by feeding them with hysteria and paranoia over an increasingly browner and blacker, less male, less Christian, and gayer America, is a cruel form of exploitation. Rich Logis, The New Republic, 4 Nov. 2022 Rap Capital offers a look at a music world in a time of uncertainty, taking vivid note of new avenues for old forms of exploitation. Jack Hamilton, The Atlantic, 18 Oct. 2022 WhatsApp patched the latest vulnerability, claiming the flaw was discovered internally and fixed before there was any evidence of exploitation. Zak Doffman, Forbes, 9 Oct. 2022 Other filmmakers say that paying reduces the risk of exploitation, especially when there are power or financial imbalances between subjects and potential producers. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Sep. 2022 During the murder trial, Harris was also found guilty of one count of exploitation of a child and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to a minor, for his involvement with a girl who was 16 years old at the time. Tristan Balagtas, PEOPLE.com, 22 June 2022 If true, this means that Twitter could be ripe for exploitation either from within or by outside adversaries assisted by people on the inside who may not have been properly vetted. Richard Forno, The Conversation, 1 Sep. 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 28 Nov. 2022.

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