Definition of exploit in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsplɔɪt/
Pronunciation: /ɛkˈsplɔɪt/
[with object]
1Make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource): 500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology
More example sentences
  • It claims entitlement to an unspecific open-ended incentive derived from exploiting a natural resource.
  • He said that it was like the old colonial attitude of exploiting a resource in an area but bringing the benefits back home to the ‘motherland’.
  • Some other countries exploiting their mineral resources are setting aside money to prepare for the day when the oil runs out.
utilize, make use of, put to use, use, use to good advantage, turn/put to good use, make the most of, capitalize on, benefit from, turn to account, draw on;
profit from/by, make capital out of
informal cash in on, milk
2Make use of (a situation) in a way considered unfair or underhand: the company was exploiting a legal loophole
More example sentences
  • That would eliminate some of the loopholes exploited by large, wealthy factory farms.
  • He feels commercial interests are exploiting the situation and selling parents the idea that they can buy things to substitute for time with their children.
  • With five minutes left the visitors had exploited the situation to score two converted tries to cut RI's lead to eight points.
2.1Benefit unfairly from the work of (someone), typically by overworking or underpaying them: women are exploited in the workplace
More example sentences
  • Nobody complained that the international capitalists were exploiting the workers.
  • Thirdly, the reason why the capitalist can exploit workers is simply because they have power over them.
  • The capitalist system exploits people everywhere.
take advantage of, make use of, abuse, impose on, prey on, play on, misuse, ill-treat, bleed, suck dry, squeeze, wring, enslave, treat unfairly, withhold rights from;
manipulate, cheat, swindle, fleece, victimize, live off the backs of


Pronunciation: /ˈɛksplɔɪt/
1A bold or daring feat: despite a series of colourful exploits, his agents obtained little intelligence of value
More example sentences
  • It was from here that Captain James Cook, a local lad, set sail around the globe, inflaming every schoolboy's passion for adventure with his daring exploits.
  • Though they claim he supports the insurgency because of his ideological opposition to the occupation, they soon lapse into talk of daring criminal exploits.
  • In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
feat, deed, act, adventure, stunt, escapade, manoeuvre, enterprise, undertaking, move;
informal lark, caper
2A software tool designed to take advantage of a flaw in a computer system, typically for malicious purposes such as installing malware: if someone you don’t know tweets you a link, it’s either spam, an exploit, or probably both
More example sentences
  • The compromised website hosted an exploit which then allowed malware to be installed on these laptops.
  • Exploit bundles are usually installed in hosting servers.
  • Once the website is visited, the modified exploits will affect the system software and additional malware will get deployed.



Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsplɔɪtəb(ə)l/ Pronunciation: /ɛkˈsplɔɪtəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Money is raised chiefly by publicising highly exploitable incidents, often of lawbreaking.
  • He said: ‘It's absolutely outrageous, it is feeding on people who are exploitable.’
  • If there is exploitable gas, then they will speak to us again in due course about bringing it ashore.


Pronunciation: /ɪkˈsplɔɪtə/
Example sentences
  • With this concern have come the unending droves of promoters, frauds, and exploiters who traditionally prey upon the naive and trusting.
  • For much of the film it is hard to see him as anything but a shallow, pretentious exploiter thinking only of his own pleasure.
  • A vast majority of people supported his government's policy, and ‘only a handful of exploiters are opposing a decision that has been taken in the best national and international interest’, he asserted.


Middle English: from Old French esploit (noun), based on Latin explicare 'unfold' (see explicate). The early notion of 'success, progress' gave rise to the sense 'attempt to capture', 'military expedition', hence the current sense of the noun. Verb senses (mid 19th century) are from modern French exploiter.

Words that rhyme with exploit

adroit, dacoit, Detroit, doit, droit, maladroit, quoit

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex|ploit

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.