verb (used with object)

to free from an obligation or liability to which others are subject; release: to exempt a student from an examination.


released from, or not subject to, an obligation, liability, etc.: organizations exempt from taxes.


a person who is exempt from an obligation, duty, etc.
(in Britain) exon.

Origin of exempt

1325–75; (adj.) Middle English < Old French < Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere to take out, free, release, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + emptus (past participle of emere to buy, obtain); (v.) late Middle English exempten < Old French exempter, derivative of exempt
Related formsex·empt·i·ble, adjectivenon·ex·empt, adjective, nounpre·ex·empt, verb (used with object)qua·si-ex·empt, adjectiveun·ex·empt, adjectiveun·ex·empt·ed, adjectiveun·ex·empt·i·ble, adjectiveun·ex·empt·ing, adjective

Synonyms for exempt

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exempted

Contemporary Examples of exempted

  • He told me, apparently incorrectly, that aid to Israel would be exempted from sequester, so "you should be happy."

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why Sympathy For Israel Is A Useful Metric

    Jonathan S. Mark

    April 8, 2013

  • In January, Obama announced a three-year freeze on discretionary spending, but exempted defense altogether.

    The Daily Beast logo
    What Iraq Costs Us

    Peter Beinart

    March 8, 2010

  • If other nations purchasing American arms could find pen and ink to sign, why should India be exempted?

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Hillary Won Over India

    M.J. Akbar

    July 27, 2009

Historical Examples of exempted

British Dictionary definitions for exempted



(tr) to release from an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excuseto exempt a soldier from drill

adjective (sometimes postpositive)

freed from or not subject to an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excusedexempt gilts; tax-exempt bonus
obsolete set apart; remote


a person who is exempt from an obligation, tax, etc
Derived Formsexemption, noun

Word Origin for exempt

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

Word Origin and History for exempted



late 14c., from Old French exempt (13c.) and directly from Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere "remove, take out, take away; free, release, deliver, make an exception of," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + emere "buy," originally "take," from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute" (cf. Latin sumere "to take, obtain, buy," Old Church Slavonic imo "to take," Lithuanian imui, Sanskrit yamati "holds, subdues"). For sense shift from "take" to "buy," compare Old English sellan "to give," source of Modern English sell "to give in exchange for money;" Hebrew laqah "he bought," originally "he took;" and colloquial English I'll take it for "I'll buy it."



mid-15c., from Middle French exempter, from exempt (adj.); see exempt (adj.). Related: Exempted; exempting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper