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90s Slang You Should Know


[ek-sploi-tey-shuh n] /ˌɛk splɔɪˈteɪ ʃən/
use or utilization, especially for profit:
the exploitation of newly discovered oil fields.
selfish utilization:
He got ahead through the exploitation of his friends.
the combined, often varied, use of public-relations and advertising techniques to promote a person, movie, product, etc.
Origin of exploitation
From French, dating back to 1795-1805; See origin at exploit2, -ation
Related forms
exploitational, adjective
exploitationally, adverb
nonexploitation, noun
overexploitation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for exploitation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One helps the other, so exploitation and administration are the two chief policies of the Government.

    India for Indians C. R. (Chittaranjan) Das
  • Real philanthropy is as inconsistent with exploitation as with cannibalism.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • A nation in which there would be no exploitation would be dead.

  • But, as we have seen, exploitation is an institution of men, not of nature.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • The state has always been an instrument of exploitation; and law is merely the organized violence of the ruling class.

Word Origin and History for exploitation

1803, "productive working" of something, a positive word among those who used it first, though regarded as a Gallicism, from French exploitation, noun of action from exploiter (see exploit (v.)). Bad sense developed 1830s-50s, in part from influence of French socialist writings (especially Saint Simon), also perhaps influenced by U.S. anti-slavery writing; and the insulting word was hurled at activities it once had crowned as praise.

It follows from this science [conceived by Saint Simon] that the tendency of the human race is from a state of antagonism to that of an universal peaceful association -- from the dominating influence of the military spirit to that of the industriel one; from what they call l'exploitation de l'homme par l'homme to the exploitation of the globe by industry. ["Quarterly Review," April & July 1831]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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