9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ig-zempt] /ɪgˈzɛmpt/
verb (used with object)
to free from an obligation or liability to which others are subject; release:
to exempt a student from an examination.
released from, or not subject to, an obligation, liability, etc.:
organizations exempt from taxes.
a person who is exempt from an obligation, duty, etc.
(in Britain) exon.
Origin of exempt
1325-75; (adj.) Middle English < Old French < Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere to take out, free, release, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + emptus (past participle of emere to buy, obtain); (v.) late Middle English exempten < Old French exempter, derivative of exempt
Related forms
exemptible, adjective
nonexempt, adjective, noun
preexempt, verb (used with object)
quasi-exempt, adjective
unexempt, adjective
unexempted, adjective
unexemptible, adjective
unexempting, adjective
1. except, excuse, relieve. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exempt
  • Let's keep the discussion to the nonprofit tax exempt colleges, please.
  • There is nothing exempt and there are no exceptions.
  • Everyone has work to do and we are not exempt.
  • Balls and strikes should remain exempt from instant replay.
  • Over great enough distances in space there is no reason for light to be exempt.
  • Promotional use of song excerpts up to 30 seconds would be exempt.
  • Interest is exempt from state and local taxes.
  • No group is exempt in this equal-opportunity compendium of verbal abuse.
  • No one is exempt.
  • If companies use boats flying under other countries' flags, they'd be exempt.
British Dictionary definitions for exempt


(transitive) to release from an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excuse: to exempt a soldier from drill
adjective (sometimes postpositive)
freed from or not subject to an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excused: exempt gilts, tax-exempt bonus
(obsolete) set apart; remote
a person who is exempt from an obligation, tax, etc
Derived Forms
exemption, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin exemptus removed, from eximere to take out, from emere to buy, obtain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for exempt

late 14c., from Old French exempt (13c.) and directly from Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere "remove, take out, take away; free, release, deliver, make an exception of," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + emere "buy," originally "take," from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute" (cf. Latin sumere "to take, obtain, buy," Old Church Slavonic imo "to take," Lithuanian imui, Sanskrit yamati "holds, subdues"). For sense shift from "take" to "buy," compare Old English sellan "to give," source of Modern English sell "to give in exchange for money;" Hebrew laqah "he bought," originally "he took;" and colloquial English I'll take it for "I'll buy it."


mid-15c., from Middle French exempter, from exempt (adj.); see exempt (adj.). Related: Exempted; exempting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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