Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To put to use or effect; put forth.
  • transitive verb To bring to bear; exercise.
  • transitive verb To put (oneself) to strenuous effort.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To put forth; thrust out; push out; emit.
  • To put forth, as strength, force, or ability; put in action; bring into active operation: as, to exert the strength of the body; to exert powers or faculties.
  • To put forth as the result of effort; do or perform.
  • To put forth effort or energy.
  • See exserted.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To thrust forth; to emit; to push out.
  • transitive verb To put force, ability, or anything of the nature of an active faculty; to put in vigorous action; to bring into active operation
  • transitive verb To put forth, as the result or exercise of effort; to bring to bear; to do or perform.
  • transitive verb to use efforts or endeavors; to strive; to make an attempt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb to put in vigorous action
  • verb to make use of, to apply, especially of something non-material

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb put to use
  • verb make a great effort at a mental or physical task
  • verb have and exercise

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin exserere, exsert-, to put forth, stretch out : ex-, ex- + serere, to join; see ser- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin exsertus, past participle of exsero.

Examples

  • The only control I will try to exert is to keep doing them.

    Something Old, Something New « Write Anything

  • That exert from the housekeeping magazine is hilarious ... too funny.

    Why Fishing is America's Cultural Compass

  • And clearly, the military force a country can exert is only one component of its power.

    Matthew Yglesias » Are We Doomed?

  • That exert from the housekeeping magazine is hilarious ... too funny.

    Why Fishing is America's Cultural Compass

  • Much of the fascination that the book continues to exert is owing to its context, and none of the editions I possess, including Paul Foote's 1966 translation and now this very deft version by Hugh Aplin, has failed to include quite a deal of background material without which Mikhail Lermontov's brief, intricate masterpiece is difficult to appreciate.

    A Doomed Young Man

  • Much of the fascination that the book continues to exert is owing to its context, and none of the editions I possess, including Paul Foote's 1966 translation and now this very deft version by Hugh Aplin, has failed to include quite a deal of background material without which Mikhail Lermontov's brief, intricate masterpiece is difficult to appreciate.

    A Doomed Young Man

  • But I suggest that our weight in world affairs and the influence we can exert is greater than our numbers would indicate.

    Canada in 1953

  • Otherwise, we may need to take Timberlake up on his word and exert a little extra A-list peer pressure!

    FOXNews.com

  • a man was able to exert, that is, how many foot-pounds of work a man could do in a day.

    The Principles of Scientific Management

  • Speakers of the major non-English languages are in positions to exert influence on the evolution of Global English purely on the basis of their numbers.

    The English Is Coming!

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