verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to pass out or escape, as spent steam from the cylinder of an engine.

noun Machinery.

Origin of exhaust

1515–25; 1895–1900 for def 11; < Latin exhaustus emptied out, drained out, past participle of exhaurīre
Related formsex·haust·er, nounex·haust·i·ble, adjectiveex·haust·i·bil·i·ty, nounmul·ti·ex·haust, nounnon·ex·haust·ed, adjectivenon·ex·haust·i·ble, adjectivepre·ex·haust, verb (used with object)un·ex·haust·ed, adjectiveun·ex·haust·ed·ly, adverb

Synonyms for exhaust

Antonyms for exhaust

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

Examples from the Web for exhaust

Contemporary Examples of exhaust

Historical Examples of exhaust

  • For example, there is neither an intake or exhaust manifold on the motor.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Their historians said that toil did not wear out his body or exhaust his energy.

    Introductory American History

    Henry Eldridge Bourne

  • Thad opened the exhaust valve, let the air hiss from the chamber of the lock.

    Salvage in Space

    John Stewart Williamson

  • Is there a single spot which the eye, by any peering or prying, can fathom or exhaust?

  • You'll get a hernia of your exhaust pipe if you stay so tense.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

British Dictionary definitions for exhaust


verb (mainly tr)

to drain the energy of; tire outto exhaust someone by constant questioning
to deprive of resources, etca nation exhausted by war
to deplete totally; expend; consumeto exhaust food supplies
to empty (a container) by drawing off or pumping out (the contents)
to develop or discuss thoroughly so that no further interest remainsto exhaust a topic of conversation
to remove gas from (a vessel, etc) in order to reduce the pressure or create a vacuum; evacuate
to remove or use up the active ingredients from (a drug, solution, etc)
to destroy the fertility of (soil) by excessive cultivation
(intr) (of steam or other gases) to be emitted or to escape from an engine after being expanded


gases ejected from an engine as waste products
  1. the expulsion of expanded gas or steam from an engine
  2. (as modifier)exhaust stroke
  1. the parts of an engine through which the exhausted gases or steam pass
  2. (as modifier)exhaust valve; exhaust pipe
Derived Formsexhausted, adjectiveexhauster, nounexhaustible, adjectiveexhaustibility, nounexhausting, adjective

Word Origin for exhaust

C16: from Latin exhaustus made empty, from exhaurīre to draw out, from haurīre to draw, drain
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 exhaust

1530s, "to draw off or out, to use up completely," from Latin exhaustus, past participle of exhaurire "draw off, take away, use up," from ex- "off" (see ex-) + haurire "to draw up" (as water), from PIE *aus- "to draw water." Of resources, etc., from 1630s. Related: Exhausted; exhausting.


"waste gas," 1848, originally from steam engines, from exhaust (v.). In reference to internal combustion engines by 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper