[ek-sploi-tey-shuh n]


use or utilization, especially for profit: the exploitation of newly discovered oil fields.
selfish utilization: He got ahead through the exploitation of his friends.
the combined, often varied, use of public-relations and advertising techniques to promote a person, movie, product, etc.

Origin of exploitation

From French, dating back to 1795–1805; see origin at exploit2, -ation
Related formsex·ploi·ta·tion·al, adjectiveex·ploi·ta·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·ex·ploi·ta·tion, nouno·ver·ex·ploi·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for exploitation

using, bleeding, profiteering

Examples from the Web for exploitation

Contemporary Examples of exploitation

Historical Examples of exploitation

  • Real philanthropy is as inconsistent with exploitation as with cannibalism.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • But, as we have seen, exploitation is an institution of men, not of nature.


    Theodor Hertzka

  • The child should not be allowed to become an object for exploitation by its parents.

  • Mr. Kron continued his exploitation of the combination calendar and beauty-box.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • And John came, and paid for his exploitation of genius heavily.

Word Origin and History for exploitation

1803, "productive working" of something, a positive word among those who used it first, though regarded as a Gallicism, from French exploitation, noun of action from exploiter (see exploit (v.)). Bad sense developed 1830s-50s, in part from influence of French socialist writings (especially Saint Simon), also perhaps influenced by U.S. anti-slavery writing; and the insulting word was hurled at activities it once had crowned as praise.

It follows from this science [conceived by Saint Simon] that the tendency of the human race is from a state of antagonism to that of an universal peaceful association -- from the dominating influence of the military spirit to that of the industriel one; from what they call l'exploitation de l'homme par l'homme to the exploitation of the globe by industry. ["Quarterly Review," April & July 1831]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper