[ ek-sploi-tey-shuh n ]
/ ˌɛk splɔɪˈteɪ ʃən /


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.

Nearby words

  1. exploded view,
  2. explodent,
  3. exploding star,
  4. exploit,
  5. exploitable,
  6. exploitation film,
  7. exploitative,
  8. exploiter,
  9. exploits,
  10. exploration

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

Word Origin and History for nonexploitation



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