Definition of exempt in English:



  • Free from an obligation or liability imposed on others.

    ‘these patients are exempt from all charges’
    in combination ‘a tax-exempt savings plan’
    • ‘The national department is to amend current exemption procedures and criteria later this year to ensure all those who cannot pay fees are duly exempt from doing so.’
    • ‘Still others simply spend the money or save in exempt assets rather than pay outstanding bills.’
    • ‘But back to tax exempt status with attendant effect to disqualify or discredit MEMRI.’
    • ‘The term therefore does not permit the clear distinction between taxable and exempt transactions to be blurred on the basis of considerations which are outside the system.’
    • ‘They are not something mysteriously exempt from the conditions they study.’
    • ‘Technically the cathedral was bankrupt but the Church of England's exempt status meant this could not be declared.’
    • ‘This may also affect Bermudians who wish to work for exempt companies in Bermuda.’
    • ‘Last week's Western Open offered up exempt spots for the Open just as this Scottish Open does.’
    • ‘This is commonly interpreted to mean that water was initially exempt, but in the final stages this exemption was withdrawn.’
    • ‘Book stores, corner stores and TV shops are also exempt from the bylaw.’
    • ‘Am I expected to pay the IRS on the profit from the sale or am I exempt from capital gains taxes?’
    • ‘A friend told me you can also make exempt gifts from income.’
    • ‘We'll get it back after our first appointment but it's still a lot of money for NHS exempt patients to have to find.’
    • ‘As a middle-aged baby boomer, I am certainly not exempt from the wishes and dreams of the anti-aging movement.’
    • ‘Ten concessionary exempt permits will also be given to the Methodist Church on Hartley Street.’
    • ‘Surely, some say, these elites should not be entirely exempt from pressure to adopt more climate friendly lifestyles.’
    • ‘Coaches like exempt events because they provide the opportunity to play high-level competition in neutral settings.’
    • ‘Those that were not felt they were exempt due to non-profit status.’
    • ‘You can make other tax-free gifts, called potentially exempt transfers, and they will be free from IHT if you survive another seven years.’
    • ‘Inheritance tax is levied only on the estate, not on the recipients of any exempt gifts.’
    free from, not liable to, not subject to
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[with object]
  • Free (a person or organization) from an obligation or liability imposed on others.

    ‘they were exempted from paying the tax’
    • ‘New Labour exempted agricultural workers from the minimum wage.’
    • ‘Newly revised guidelines exempting ELL students for only 1 year are not nearly enough.’
    • ‘The Nice Treaty does not exempt Ireland from joining a common European defence policy.’
    • ‘However, those who cannot afford to pay this fee are exempted and treated free of cost.’
    • ‘No matter how much they adore him, they can't set a precedent by exempting him from this duty.’
    • ‘What do we mean when we talk about exempting employees of small businesses from the protection of Commonwealth unfair dismissal law?’
    • ‘His age exempted him from conscription, but he had enlisted anyway.’
    • ‘The law does not exempt service members from legal obligations that result from an act of wrongdoing.’
    • ‘He also promised to immediately exempt minimum wage earners from tax and give them a rebate for this year.’
    • ‘The Liberals have exempted the corporate sector from the demands of social responsibility.’
    • ‘She relies on a clause in the contract which exempts her from liability for damage to any tools providing she was not negligent.’
    • ‘Being a war hero is not a lifetime ‘get out of jail free’ card, exempting you from responsibility for what you do thereafter.’
    • ‘His religious principles made him a pacifist so he was exempted from military service and remained at Cambridge.’
    • ‘You can hardly name a language, not to mention a country whose writers are exempted from this trend.’
    • ‘Playing for the national team does not exempt young players from three years of national service.’
    • ‘The estate tax exempts surviving spouses, which means they can inherit an unlimited amount of assets without triggering taxes.’
    • ‘Loving him does not mean excusing him or even exempting him from punishment (including the death penalty, if necessary).’
    • ‘The plaintiff was injured in an accident in the car park, caused in part by the negligence of the defendants, who relied on conditions in the notices exempting them from liability.’
    • ‘But he said Cepa did not exempt Hong Kong firms from complying with mainland business licensing requirements.’
    • ‘She does not exempt anthropologists from her analysis.’
    free from, not liable to, not subject to
    excuse, free, release, exclude, give immunity, grant immunity, spare
    View synonyms


  • A person who is exempt from something, especially the payment of tax.

    • ‘Thus, journalists' duties vary along a spectrum from the nonexempt to the exempt.’
    • ‘Hayden had been one of the exempt 50 going into the final event of the PBA season, the World Championship.’
    • ‘The system of exemptions told draftees that their society did not value them, long before this was made patent on their return home when they were spat upon by the exempt.’


Late Middle English: from Latin exemptus ‘taken out, freed’, past participle of eximere.