9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ig-zawst] /ɪgˈzɔst/
verb (used with object)
to drain of strength or energy, wear out, or fatigue greatly, as a person:
I have exhausted myself working.
to use up or consume completely; expend the whole of:
He exhausted a fortune in stock-market speculation.
to draw out all that is essential in (a subject, topic, etc.); treat or study thoroughly.
to empty by drawing out the contents:
to exhaust a tank of fuel oil.
to create a vacuum in.
to draw out or drain off completely.
to deprive wholly of useful or essential properties, possessions, resources, etc.
Chemistry, Pharmacology. to deprive of ingredients by the use of solvents, as a drug.
to destroy the fertility of (soil), as by intensive cultivation.
verb (used without object)
to pass out or escape, as spent steam from the cylinder of an engine.
noun, Machinery
the escape of steam or gases from the cylinder of an engine.
the steam or gases ejected.
Also called exhaust system. the parts of an engine through which the exhaust is ejected.
Origin of exhaust
1515-25; 1895-1900 for def 11; < Latin exhaustus emptied out, drained out, past participle of exhaurīre
Related forms
exhauster, noun
exhaustible, adjective
exhaustibility, noun
multiexhaust, noun
nonexhausted, adjective
nonexhaustible, adjective
preexhaust, verb (used with object)
unexhausted, adjective
unexhaustedly, adverb
1. tire, enervate, prostrate, debilitate. 2. waste, squander, dissipate. 4. void. 12. fumes, smoke, vapor.
1. strengthen, invigorate. 4. fill. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exhaust
  • Breathing refers to an engine's ability to fill its cylinders with an air-fuel mixture and expel the exhaust gases.
  • Voice recognition highlights the importance of making use of data exhaust.
  • Idling school buses spew tons of exhaust into the air, putting children at risk when they leave school at the end of each day.
  • We use hot exhaust that would have been vented up the smokestacks.
  • The sound generated by gushing rocket exhaust can rattle a launch vehicle into pieces.
  • And merely following the law does not exhaust a firm's ethical responsibilities, any more than it does an individual's.
  • Contrails are artificial clouds that form around the tiny aerosol particles in airplane exhaust.
  • Scientists have long suspected that contrails, the trails of white exhaust that jets leave in their wake, can affect climate.
  • The maze of cloud streams in this image is the result of exhaust from ship engines.
  • He suggests building greenhouses on this land, and pumping in the exhaust from the power station.
British Dictionary definitions for exhaust


verb (mainly transitive)
to drain the energy of; tire out: to exhaust someone by constant questioning
to deprive of resources, etc: a nation exhausted by war
to deplete totally; expend; consume: to exhaust food supplies
to empty (a container) by drawing off or pumping out (the contents)
to develop or discuss thoroughly so that no further interest remains: to exhaust a topic of conversation
to remove gas from (a vessel, etc) in order to reduce the pressure or create a vacuum; evacuate
to remove or use up the active ingredients from (a drug, solution, etc)
to destroy the fertility of (soil) by excessive cultivation
(intransitive) (of steam or other gases) to be emitted or to escape from an engine after being expanded
gases ejected from an engine as waste products
  1. the expulsion of expanded gas or steam from an engine
  2. (as modifier): exhaust stroke
  1. the parts of an engine through which the exhausted gases or steam pass
  2. (as modifier): exhaust valve, exhaust pipe
Derived Forms
exhausted, adjective
exhauster, noun
exhaustible, adjective
exhaustibility, noun
exhausting, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exhaustus made empty, from exhaurīre to draw out, from haurīre to draw, drain
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 exhaust

1530s, "to draw off or out, to use up completely," from Latin exhaustus, past participle of exhaurire "draw off, take away, use up," from ex- "off" (see ex-) + haurire "to draw up" (as water), from PIE *aus- "to draw water." Of resources, etc., from 1630s. Related: Exhausted; exhausting.


"waste gas," 1848, originally from steam engines, from exhaust (v.). In reference to internal combustion engines by 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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