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’
    • ‘This may also affect Bermudians who wish to work for exempt companies in Bermuda.’
    • ‘Am I expected to pay the IRS on the profit from the sale or am I exempt from capital gains taxes?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But back to tax exempt status with attendant effect to disqualify or discredit MEMRI.’
    • ‘They are not something mysteriously exempt from the conditions they study.’
    • ‘Coaches like exempt events because they provide the opportunity to play high-level competition in neutral settings.’
    • ‘Inheritance tax is levied only on the estate, not on the recipients of any exempt gifts.’
    • ‘You can make other tax-free gifts, called potentially exempt transfers, and they will be free from IHT if you survive another seven years.’
    • ‘Technically the cathedral was bankrupt but the Church of England's exempt status meant this could not be declared.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Book stores, corner stores and TV shops are also exempt from the bylaw.’
    • ‘Ten concessionary exempt permits will also be given to the Methodist Church on Hartley Street.’
    • ‘This is commonly interpreted to mean that water was initially exempt, but in the final stages this exemption was withdrawn.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Surely, some say, these elites should not be entirely exempt from pressure to adopt more climate friendly lifestyles.’
    • ‘A friend told me you can also make exempt gifts from income.’
    • ‘Last week's Western Open offered up exempt spots for the Open just as this Scottish Open does.’
    • ‘As a middle-aged baby boomer, I am certainly not exempt from the wishes and dreams of the anti-aging movement.’
    • ‘Those that were not felt they were exempt due to non-profit status.’
    • ‘Still others simply spend the money or save in exempt assets rather than pay outstanding bills.’
    free from, not liable to, not subject to
    exempted, spared, excepted, excused, absolved, released, discharged
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  • Free (a person or organization) from an obligation or liability imposed on others.

    ‘they were exempted from paying the tax’
    • ‘Being a war hero is not a lifetime ‘get out of jail free’ card, exempting you from responsibility for what you do thereafter.’
    • ‘She does not exempt anthropologists from her analysis.’
    • ‘You can hardly name a language, not to mention a country whose writers are exempted from this trend.’
    • ‘She relies on a clause in the contract which exempts her from liability for damage to any tools providing she was not negligent.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘New Labour exempted agricultural workers from the minimum wage.’
    • ‘The estate tax exempts surviving spouses, which means they can inherit an unlimited amount of assets without triggering taxes.’
    • ‘Playing for the national team does not exempt young players from three years of national service.’
    • ‘The Nice Treaty does not exempt Ireland from joining a common European defence policy.’
    • ‘The Liberals have exempted the corporate sector from the demands of social responsibility.’
    • ‘He also promised to immediately exempt minimum wage earners from tax and give them a rebate for this year.’
    • ‘The law does not exempt service members from legal obligations that result from an act of wrongdoing.’
    • ‘Newly revised guidelines exempting ELL students for only 1 year are not nearly enough.’
    • ‘However, those who cannot afford to pay this fee are exempted and treated free of cost.’
    • ‘His religious principles made him a pacifist so he was exempted from military service and remained at Cambridge.’
    • ‘But he said Cepa did not exempt Hong Kong firms from complying with mainland business licensing requirements.’
    • ‘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.’
    excuse, free, release, exclude, give immunity, grant immunity, spare
    let off, relieve of, make an exception for, make an exception of
    liberate, absolve, discharge
    let off the hook
    free from, not liable to, not subject to
    exempted, spared, excepted, excused, absolved, released, discharged
    View synonyms


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

    • ‘Hayden had been one of the exempt 50 going into the final event of the PBA season, the World Championship.’
    • ‘Thus, journalists' duties vary along a spectrum from the nonexempt to the exempt.’
    • ‘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.