Definition of exit in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈeɡzət/
Pronunciation: /ˈeksət/


1A way out, especially of a public building, room, or passenger vehicle: she slipped out by the rear exit a fire exit
More example sentences
  • The blonde walked out of the room and toward the exits of the building.
  • I nodded, bored, taking a sideways glance towards the exit door from the building.
  • Sam turned on her heel and walked the other way, towards the rear exit of the building.
way out, door, egress, escape route;
doorway, gate, gateway, portal
1.1A ramp where traffic can leave a highway, major road, or traffic circle: he pulled off at an exit and stopped his Mercedes-Benz
More example sentences
  • They will tower over drivers from either side of slip road exits and entrances at junction three for the 12-month trial period.
  • She called for better traffic light filter systems, widened access roads and more exits from the car parks.
  • It will also tell you when your freeway exit is coming, and if you're not familiar with the area, it will even tell you what side of the road the exit is on.
turning, turnoff, turn, junction
2An act of going out of or leaving a place: he made a hasty exit from the room
More example sentences
  • During the spring migration in the western Bering Strait, at the exit from the Gulf of Anadyr, whales moved over a broad front from near shore out to sea.
  • I turned the engine on and made a swift exit from the people's place, after all, if the owner had come out front, there may well have been a query as to what I was doing in the driveway.
  • It was close on 4 a.m. when we hit the road for the west, availing of the quiet streets of Dublin to make an easy exit from the city.
2.1A departure of an actor from the stage: the brief soliloquy following Clarence’s exit
More example sentences
  • The stage was sectioned off with mirrored panels that swiveled to allow the entrances and exits of dancers and actors.
  • As their set rounded up, she thanked the audience and made her exit off the stage.
  • The two farces begin to interlock as the characters make their exits from the front stage only to find themselves making entrances into a worse nightmare back-stage.
2.2A departure from a particular situation: Australia’s early exit from the World Cup
More example sentences
  • A comfortable exit from this situation would allow him to declare himself injured and thus unavailable to compete.
  • You are truly disturbed and want to quit, but nothing you say works to get your exit from this unexpectedly distressing situation.
  • He flashed them a smile and I decided that the best way to handle the situation was a dramatic exit.

verb (exits, exiting, exited)

[no object]
1Go out of or leave a place: they exited from the aircraft the bullet entered her back and exited through her chest [with object]: elephants enter and exit the forest on narrow paths
More example sentences
  • Each aisle was first entered and exited from the back of the store opposite the cashier counters.
  • While I was waiting at the arrivals gate, a large group of people exited from the flight previous to the one I was waiting for.
  • The small old men exited from the dramatic scene ashen-faced.
leave, go (out), depart, withdraw, retreat
1.1(Of an actor) leave the stage.
Example sentences
  • After each film snippet, the darkened stage lit up to reveal that person in the flesh, dressed in street clothes and performing one phrase, center stage, before exiting.
  • At one performance of The Nutcracker that season, the young actress dropped her hoop on stage before exiting.
  • He'd peered back at them from the wings of the stage as he exited.
1.2 (exit) Used as a stage direction in a printed play to indicate that a character leaves the stage: exit Pamela See also exeunt.
1.3Leave a particular situation: organizations that do not have freedom to exit from unprofitable markets
More example sentences
  • This may mean that buyers will not allow prices to rise like last time, but it could also mean that owners will be more ready to exit from the market.
  • Firms have been quietly reducing excess capacity and exiting unprofitable businesses.
  • One explanation for these declines is obvious: Wives now have more freedom to exit bad relationships.
1.4 Computing Terminate a process or program, usually returning to an earlier or more general level of interaction: this key enables you to temporarily exit from a LIFESPAN option
More example sentences
  • A user can right-click on that to exit the program - thereby preventing it from recording Web surfing, e-mail and chat sessions.
  • Changing modes like this does, however, require that you then exit the program and restart it for the changes to take effect.
  • To exit the program, hit Alt-F again, and hit X or use the arrow keys to select Exit.
1.5 Bridge Relinquish the lead.


Mid 16th century (as a stage direction): from Latin exit 'he or she goes out', third person singular present tense of exire, from ex- 'out' + ire 'go'. The noun use (late 16th century) is from Latin exitus 'going out', from the verb exire, and the other verb uses (early 17th century) are from the noun.

  • Exit was used during the time of Shakespeare as a stage direction meaning ‘he or she goes out’, which is the word's literal meaning in Latin. (The plural equivalent, ‘they go out’, is exeunt.) One of the best-known uses of the word is in a speech from Shakespeare's As You Like It: ‘All the world's a stage, / And all the men and women merely players: / They have their exits and their entrances; /And one man in his time plays many parts, / His acts being seven ages.’ Shakespeare is also responsible for what must be the must famous of all stage directions, from The Winter's Tale: ‘Exit, pursued by a bear’. People started using exit to mean ‘a way out’ at the end of the 17th century. The sounds of the Latin were softened in French to become the source of issue (Middle English).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·it

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