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[ig-zurt] /ɪgˈzɜrt/
verb (used with object)
to put forth or into use, as power; exercise, as ability or influence; put into vigorous action:
to exert every effort.
to put (oneself) into strenuous, vigorous action or effort.
Origin of exert
1650-60; < Latin ex(s)ertus, past participle of exserere to thrust out, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + ser(ere) to bind together + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
exertive, adjective
nonexertive, adjective
superexert, verb (used with object)
unexerted, adjective
well-exerted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exert
  • Companies should not exert excessive power over the economy or the public.
  • Theorists now suspect that it may exert other forces as well.
  • Well, I dehydrate extremely easily, even when not exerting myself at all.
  • Each draft season sees some significant jockeying down the homestretch as individuals step up and exert themselves.
  • And once the fusion reactions begin, they exert an outward pressure.
  • That means housing will continue to exert a drag on the overall economy.
  • We can't change the world, can't protect those we love, or exert mind-control over those whom we would like to love us.
  • His hairstyles exert a peculiar fascination in Britain, and each style change is attentively covered.
  • We are independent countries, let us exert our sovereignty.
  • They exert a great deal of power in the globalized world economy.
British Dictionary definitions for exert


verb (transitive)
to use (influence, authority, etc) forcefully or effectively
to apply (oneself) diligently; make a strenuous effort
Derived Forms
exertion, noun
exertive, adjective
Word Origin
C17 (in the sense: push forth, emit): from Latin exserere to thrust out, from ex-1 + serere to bind together, entwine
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 exert

1660s, "thrust forth, push out," from Latin exertus/exsertus, past participle of exerere/exserere "thrust out, put forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + serere "attach, join" (see series). Meaning "put into use" is 1680s. Related: Exerted; exerting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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