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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.
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 exerts
  • Yale is a node in a web of money, power, and status that exerts constant pressure on admissions decisions.
  • At the same time, predation by bears exerts an important influence on the survival and evolution of the salmon populations.
  • What pressure the government exerts now is directed mostly at halting gas flares.
  • The darn thing is so dense that it exerts a gravitational pull so strong that not even light can escape.
  • Moreover, our pelvic anatomy exerts so-called lateral pressure on our lower joints.
  • In good moral theory, being human exerts its own demands.
  • It is power, not wise governance, that exerts the magnetic pull.
  • But the compound probably exerts its anticancer powers through other means.
  • Even from the grave he exerts his influence on the tech industry.
  • The idea that secretive foreign governments are up to no good exerts a powerful hold on the collective imagination.
British Dictionary definitions for exerts


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 exerts



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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