• synonyms


[verb ik-sploit; noun eks-ploit, ik-sploit]
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.
Show More
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.
Show More

Origin of exploit2

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

Examples from the Web for unexploited

Historical Examples

  • How could one expect so poor—or shall we say so unexploited?

    The Birth of Yugoslavia, Volume 2

    Henry Baerlein

  • That's the condition of an unexploited country, my friends!'


    George Gissing

  • All this mass of humanity in Dhurrumtollah is unexploited and almost unknown.

    From Sea to Sea

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The mineral riches of Guatemala, while not unknown, may be said to be unexploited.

  • "I'm sick of printing," was all Bobby would say, and no argument as to unexploited wealth could move him.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for unexploited


  1. (of resources) not being used effectivelyrich with unexploited minerals
Show More


noun (ˈɛksplɔɪt)
  1. a notable deed or feat, esp one that is noble or heroic
Show More
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
Show More
Derived Formsexploitable, adjectiveexploitation, nounexploitive or exploitative, adjective

Word Origin

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 unexploited



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.

Show More



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper