Definition of exert in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /iɡˈzərt/


[with object]
1Apply or bring to bear (a force, influence, or quality): the moon exerts a force on the Earth exerting influence over the next generation
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, exercise, employ, use, utilize, deploy
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.
strive, try hard, make an/every effort, endeavor, do one's best, do one's utmost, give one's all, push oneself, drive oneself, work hard
informal go all out, pull out all the stops, bend/lean over backwards, do one's damnedest, do one's darnedest, move heaven and earth, bust one's chops


Mid 17th century (in the sense 'perform, practice'): 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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ex·ert

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.