9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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 exerting
  • These animals forage in the cooler temps of morning and afternoon to avoid exerting themselves in the debilitating midday heat.
  • What's more, self-talk might be a tool for exerting the will-or being willing.
  • Past studies have shown that exerting self-control may increase irritability and anger.
  • As a result, current-account imbalances are once again exerting a powerful influence over currencies.
  • They are rapidly exerting their influence in almost every place that will let them.
  • They are probably paranoid of supranational organizations exerting power over them, thus the lack of adherence to treaties.
  • Behaving automatically requires less effort than deliberately exerting conscious control over one's actions.
  • If you're reading on the stair climber, you're probably not exerting enough energy.
  • Somewhere, there was a sort of temperamental dark matter exerting an invisible gravitational pull of its own.
  • And you have a sense that it does more than that: it is part of life's fabric, capable of exerting an almost mystical grasp.
British Dictionary definitions for exerting


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 exerting



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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