1 [ek-sploit, ik-sploit]
a striking or notable deed; feat; spirited or heroic act: the exploits of Alexander the Great.

1350–1400; Middle English exploit, espleit < Old French exploit, Anglo-French espleit < Latin explicitum, neuter of explicitus (past participle). See explicit

accomplishment. See achievement.
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2 [ik-sploit]
verb (used with object)
to utilize, especially for profit; turn to practical account: to exploit a business opportunity.
to use selfishly for one's own ends: employers who exploit their workers.
to advance or further through exploitation; promote: He exploited his new movie through a series of guest appearances.

1375–1425; < French exploiter, derivative of exploit (noun); replacing late Middle English expleiten to achieve < Anglo-French espleiter, derivative of espleit (noun). See exploit1

exploitable, adjective
exploitability, noun
exploitative, exploitatory [ik-sploi-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] , exploitive, adjective
exploiter, noun
half-exploited, adjective
nonexploitable, adjective
nonexploitative, adjective
nonexploitive, adjective
self-exploited, adjective
self-exploiting, adjective
unexploitable, adjective
unexploitative, adjective
unexploited, adjective
unexploitive, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  a notable deed or feat, esp one that is noble or heroic
2.  to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc), esp unethically or unjustly for one's own ends
3.  to make the best use of: to exploit natural resources
[C14: from Old French: accomplishment, from Latin explicitum (something) unfolded, from explicāre to explicate]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. esploit, a very common verb, used in senses of "action, deed, profit, achievement," from L. explicitum "a thing settled, ended, displayed," neut. of explicitus, pp. of explicare "unfold" (see explicit). Sense evolution is from "unfolding" to "bringing
out" to "having advantage" to "achievement." Related: Exploits.

M.E. espleiten, esploiten "to accomplish;" the sense of "use selfishly" first recorded 1838, as an adoption of Fr. exploiter. See exploit (n.). Related: Exploited; exploiting. As an adjective form, exploitative (1882) is from French; exploitive (by 1859) appears to be a native formation
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

exploit definition

A security hole or an instance of taking advantage of a security hole.
"[...] hackers say exploit. sysadmins say hole" -- Mike Emke (http://emke.com/).
Emke reports that the stress is on the second syllable. If this is true, this may be a case of hackerly zero-deriving verbs (especially instantials) from nouns, akin to "write" as a noun to describe an instance of a disk drive writing to a disk.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
The rich and famous can hire the best lawyers, employ their own investigators
  and exploit the media to their advantage.
The power of the universe is waiting for you to exploit it.
They continue to over-exploit all the island's resources.
Maintain command of the seas and the ability to exploit naval power on the
  periphery of the Eurasian land mass.
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