- to free from an obligation or liability to which others are subject; release: to exempt a student from an examination.
- released from, or not subject to, an obligation, liability, etc.: organizations exempt from taxes.
- a person who is exempt from an obligation, duty, etc.
- (in Britain) exon.
Origin of exempt
SynonymsSee more synonyms for exempt on Thesaurus.com
- (tr) to release from an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excuseto exempt a soldier from drill
- freed from or not subject to an obligation, liability, tax, etc; excusedexempt gilts; tax-exempt bonus
- obsolete set apart; remote
- a person who is exempt from an obligation, tax, etc
Word Origin and History for pre-exempt
late 14c., from Old French exempt (13c.) and directly from Latin exemptus, past participle of eximere "remove, take out, take away; free, release, deliver, make an exception of," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + emere "buy," originally "take," from PIE root *em- "to take, distribute" (cf. Latin sumere "to take, obtain, buy," Old Church Slavonic imo "to take," Lithuanian imui, Sanskrit yamati "holds, subdues"). For sense shift from "take" to "buy," compare Old English sellan "to give," source of Modern English sell "to give in exchange for money;" Hebrew laqah "he bought," originally "he took;" and colloquial English I'll take it for "I'll buy it."
mid-15c., from Middle French exempter, from exempt (adj.); see exempt (adj.). Related: Exempted; exempting.