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See more synonyms for exert on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to put forth or into use, as power; exercise, as ability or influence; put into vigorous action: to exert every effort.
  2. to put (oneself) into strenuous, vigorous action or effort.
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Origin of exert

1650–60; < Latin ex(s)ertus, past participle of exserere to thrust out, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + ser(ere) to bind together + -tus past participle suffix
Related formsex·er·tive, adjectivenon·ex·er·tive, adjectivesu·per·ex·ert, verb (used with object)un·ex·ert·ed, adjectivewell-ex·ert·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for exerted

expend, wield, utilize, apply, exercise, strive, plug, use, dig, toil, work, ply, labor, employ, strain, struggle, push, endeavor, throw

Examples from the Web for exerted

Contemporary Examples of exerted

Historical Examples of exerted

  • He sprang to the rock, and exerted his utmost strength to dislodge it.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Mrs. Roberts exerted herself to laugh with him, albeit she was horror-stricken.

  • He exerted his will and called himself foolish, but in vain.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • And indeed had his speed been tenfold greater than it was, it had been exerted to no purpose.


    William Godwin

  • The medium had exerted every spiritual faculty to receive the truth.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

British Dictionary definitions for exerted


verb (tr)
  1. to use (influence, authority, etc) forcefully or effectively
  2. to apply (oneself) diligently; make a strenuous effort
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Derived Formsexertion, nounexertive, adjective

Word Origin for exert

C17 (in the sense: push forth, emit): from Latin exserere to thrust out, from ex- 1 + serere to bind together, entwine
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 exerted



1660s, "thrust forth, push out," from Latin exertus/exsertus, past participle of exerere/exserere "thrust out, put forth," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + serere "attach, join" (see series). Meaning "put into use" is 1680s. Related: Exerted; exerting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper