- 1 [with object] Apply or bring to bear (a force, influence, or quality): the moon exerts a force on the Earth how much control can he exert over his own life?More example sentences
- In addition, the amount of money available exerts a considerable influence on the number of securities in a portfolio.
- Nevertheless, the organization still exerts considerable influence.
- He soon came to exert considerable influence on surgical practice and hospital policy at Harrogate.
- 2 (exert oneself) Make a physical or mental effort: he needs to exert himself to try to find an answerMore example sentences
make an effort, try hard, strive, endeavour, apply oneself, do one's best, do all one can, do one's utmost, give one's all, make every effort, spare no effort, be at pains, put oneself out; struggle, labour, toil, strain, push oneself, drive oneself, work hard, work like a Trojan; rack/cudgel one's brains• informal give it one's best shot, go all out, pull out all the stops, bend/lean over backwards, put one's back into it, knock oneself out, do one's damnedest, move heaven and earth, beaver away, slog away, keep one's nose to the grindstone, work one's socks off, break sweatNorth American • informal do one's darnedest/durnedest, bust one's chopsAustralian • informal go for the doctor
- Other than her walks to various news-stands and marketplaces, which she tried to limit, Lydia did not exert herself to physical exhaustion.
- They show up every day to sweat and exert themselves and strive to improve their skills and game play, when more than half of them are well aware that they will not even be sitting on the bench come this time next season.
- The doctor says that she should not be allowed to exert herself mentally and physically and she should not be allowed to witness tragic scenes.
mid 17th century (in the sense 'perform, practise'): from Latin exserere 'put forth', from ex- 'out' + serere 'bind'.