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exploitation

[ek-sploi-tey-shuh n]
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noun
  1. use or utilization, especially for profit: the exploitation of newly discovered oil fields.
  2. selfish utilization: He got ahead through the exploitation of his friends.
  3. 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 formsex·ploi·ta·tion·al, adjectiveex·ploi·ta·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·ex·ploi·ta·tion, nouno·ver·ex·ploi·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exploitation

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Real philanthropy is as inconsistent with exploitation as with cannibalism.

    Freeland

    Theodor Hertzka

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

    Freeland

    Theodor Hertzka

  • The child should not be allowed to become an object for exploitation by its parents.

  • Mr. Kron continued his exploitation of the combination calendar and beauty-box.

    Mary-'Gusta

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • And John came, and paid for his exploitation of genius heavily.


Word Origin and History for exploitation

n.

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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