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[verb ik-sploit; noun eks-ploit, ik-sploit] /verb ɪkˈsplɔɪt; noun ˈɛks plɔɪt, ɪkˈsplɔɪt/
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.
noun, Digital Technology.
  1. a flaw in hardware or software that is vulnerable to hacking or other cyberattacks.
  2. a piece of software that takes advantage of such a flaw to compromise a computer system or network.
(in a video game) the use of a bug or flaw in game design to a player’s advantage or to the disadvantage of other players.
Origin of exploit2
late Middle English
1375-1425; < French exploiter, derivative of exploit (noun); replacing late Middle English expleiten “to achieve,” from Anglo-French, Middle French espleiter, espleitier derivative of espleit, esploit (noun). See exploit1
Related forms
exploitable, adjective
exploitability, noun
exploitative, exploitatory
[ik-sploi-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪkˈsplɔɪ təˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unexploited
Historical Examples
  • How could one expect so poor—or shall we say so unexploited?

  • That's the condition of an unexploited country, my friends!'

    Demos George Gissing
  • All this mass of humanity in Dhurrumtollah is unexploited and almost unknown.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • The mineral riches of Guatemala, while not unknown, may be said to be unexploited.

  • "I'm sick of printing," was all Bobby would say, and no argument as to unexploited wealth could move him.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde Stewart Edward White
  • In brief, advertised dishonesty is even more profitless than unexploited deception.

    The Clock that Had no Hands Herbert Kaufman
  • So we may see that the West was far from being an unexploited country when Kit Carson began his travels.

    The Way to the West Emerson Hough
  • Macedonia could supply itself with the best cereal foods and to spare, and had unexploited veins of gold ore.

    The Ancient East D. G. Hogarh
  • Below the present margin of utility of any goods there exist great quantities of free goods, unused goods, or unexploited uses.

    The Principles of Economics Frank A. Fetter
  • It is a curious fever, that which seizes upon the new-comer in an unexploited mining field.

    Empire Builders

    Francis Lynde
British Dictionary definitions for unexploited


(of resources) not being used effectively: rich with unexploited minerals


noun (ˈɛksplɔɪt)
a notable deed or feat, esp one that is noble or heroic
verb (transitive) (ɪkˈsplɔɪt)
to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc), esp unethically or unjustly for one's own ends
to make the best use of: to exploit natural resources
Derived Forms
exploitable, adjective
exploitation, noun
exploitive, exploitative, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French: accomplishment, from Latin explicitum (something) unfolded, from explicāre to explicate
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 unexploited



late 14c., "outcome of an action," from Old French esploit (12c.), a very common word, used in senses of "action, deed, profit, achievement," from Latin explicitum "a thing settled, ended, displayed," neuter of explicitus, past participle of explicare "unfold" (see explicit).

Meaning "feat, achievement" is c.1400. Sense evolution is from "unfolding" to "bringing out" to "having advantage" to "achievement." Related: Exploits.



c.1400 espleiten, esploiten "to accomplish, achieve, fulfill," from Old French esploitier, espleiter, from esploit (see exploit (n.)).

The sense of "use selfishly" first recorded 1838, from French, perhaps extended from use of the word with reference to mines, etc. (cf. exploitation). 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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