• synonyms


[verb ik-sploit; noun eks-ploit, ik-sploit]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to utilize, especially for profit; turn to practical account: to exploit a business opportunity.
  2. to use selfishly for one's own ends: employers who exploit their workers.
  3. to advance or further through exploitation; promote: He exploited his new movie through a series of guest appearances.
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noun Digital Technology.
    1. a flaw in hardware or software that is vulnerable to hacking or other cyberattacks.
    2. a piece of software that takes advantage of such a flaw to compromise a computer system or network.
  1. (in a video game) the use of a bug or flaw in game design to a player’s advantage or to the disadvantage of other players.
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Origin of exploit

1375–1425; < French exploiter, derivative of exploit (noun); replacing late Middle English expleiten “to achieve,” from Anglo-French, Middle French espleiter, espleitier derivative of espleit, esploit (noun). See exploit1
Related formsex·ploit·a·ble, adjectiveex·ploit·a·bil·i·ty, nounex·ploit·a·tive, ex·ploit·a·to·ry [ik-sploi-tuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪkˈsplɔɪ təˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, ex·ploit·ive, adjectiveex·ploit·er, nounhalf-ex·ploit·ed, adjectivenon·ex·ploit·a·ble, adjectivenon·ex·ploit·a·tive, adjectivenon·ex·ploi·tive, adjectiveself-ex·ploit·ed, adjectiveself-ex·ploit·ing, adjectiveun·ex·ploit·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·ploit·a·tive, adjectiveun·ex·ploit·ed, adjectiveun·ex·ploit·ive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for exploiter

bloodsucker, leech, parasite, sponge, user, exploiter, forty-niner, mineworker

Examples from the Web for exploiter

Historical Examples of exploiter

  • Our merchant is an exploiter and uses his capital for that purpose.

    Virgin Soil

    Ivan S. Turgenev

  • He is regarded not as the "exploiter," the man grown fat on the labour of others.


    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

  • At any rate, he did not hesitate to exploiter them most unconscionably.

  • Will you, to control the exploiter, be obliged to control all men, even in detail?

  • Before leaving the exploiter it is to be said he also has his church.

British Dictionary definitions for exploiter


noun (ˈɛksplɔɪt)
  1. a notable deed or feat, esp one that is noble or heroic
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verb (ɪkˈsplɔɪt) (tr)
  1. to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc), esp unethically or unjustly for one's own ends
  2. to make the best use ofto exploit natural resources
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Derived Formsexploitable, adjectiveexploitation, nounexploitive or exploitative, adjective

Word Origin for exploit

C14: from Old French: accomplishment, from Latin explicitum (something) unfolded, from explicāre to explicate
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 exploiter



late 14c., "outcome of an action," from Old French esploit (12c.), a very common word, used in senses of "action, deed, profit, achievement," from Latin explicitum "a thing settled, ended, displayed," neuter of explicitus, past participle of explicare "unfold" (see explicit).

Meaning "feat, achievement" is c.1400. Sense evolution is from "unfolding" to "bringing out" to "having advantage" to "achievement." Related: Exploits.

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c.1400 espleiten, esploiten "to accomplish, achieve, fulfill," from Old French esploitier, espleiter, from esploit (see exploit (n.)).

The sense of "use selfishly" first recorded 1838, from French, perhaps extended from use of the word with reference to mines, etc. (cf. exploitation). Related: Exploited; exploiting. As an adjective form, exploitative (1882) is from French; exploitive (by 1859) appears to be a native formation.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper