Share this entry

exert Line breaks: exert
Pronunciation: /ɪɡˈzəːt/

Definition of exert in English:


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.
bring to bear, apply, bring into play, exercise, employ, use, make use of, utilize, deploy;
expend, spend
2 (exert oneself) Make a physical or mental effort: he needs to exert himself to try to find an answer
More example sentences
  • 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.
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;
North American informal do one's darnedest/durnedest, bust one's chops
Australian informal go for the doctor


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'perform, practise'): from Latin exserere 'put forth', from ex- 'out' + serere 'bind'.

Words that rhyme with exert

advert, alert, animadvert, assert, avert, Bert, blurt, Burt, cert, chert, concert, controvert, convert, curt, desert, dessert, dirt, divert, flirt, girt, hurt, inert, insert, introvert, Kurt, malapert, overt, pert, quirt, shirt, skirt, spirt, spurt, squirt, Sturt, subvert, vert, wort, yurt

Definition of exert in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day fortissimo
Pronunciation: fɔːˈtɪsɪməʊ
(especially as a direction) very loud or loudly