[ ig-zempt ]
See synonyms for exempt on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to free from an obligation or liability to which others are subject; release: A grade above B+ is required in order to exempt a student from an examination.

  1. released from, or not subject to, a particular obligation or liability, such as income tax: Charities and other exempt organizations must still file an information return with the IRS.

  2. U.S. Law. relating to or being an employee to whom certain obligations imposed on employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act do not apply, generally because skill level and remuneration are relatively high or work is of a kind that cannot be strictly scheduled: Executive employees and creative professionals are among those considered exempt under the FLSA.

  1. a person who is exempt from an obligation, duty, etc.

  2. (in Britain) exon1.

Origin of exempt

First recorded in 1325–75; (adjective) Middle English, from Old French, from Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere “to take out, free, release,” equivalent to ex- ex-1 + emptus (past participle of emere “to buy, obtain”); (verb) late Middle English exempten, from Old French exempter, derivative of adjective exempt

Other words for exempt

Other words from exempt

  • ex·empt·i·ble, adjective
  • non·ex·empt, adjective, noun
  • pre·ex·empt, verb (used with object)
  • qua·si-ex·empt, adjective
  • un·ex·empt, adjective
  • un·ex·empt·ed, adjective
  • un·ex·empt·i·ble, adjective
  • un·ex·empt·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use exempt in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for exempt


/ (ɪɡˈzɛmpt) /

  1. (tr) to release from an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excuse: to exempt a soldier from drill

adjective(sometimes postpositive)
  1. freed from or not subject to an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excused: exempt gilts; tax-exempt bonus

  2. obsolete set apart; remote

  1. a person who is exempt from an obligation, tax, etc

Origin of exempt

C14: from Latin exemptus removed, from eximere to take out, from emere to buy, obtain

Derived forms of exempt

  • exemption, noun

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