Definition of exemption in US English:



  • 1The process of freeing or state of being free from an obligation or liability imposed on others.

    ‘exemption from prescription charges’
    ‘regulatory exemptions’
    • ‘I also grant him exemption from the two-year practical experience requirement.’
    • ‘The exemption from capital gains tax only came into play if shares held in PEPs actually went up in value.’
    • ‘That's not to mention its exemption from the London congestion charge and road tax.’
    • ‘There are good reasons why thousands of companies will seek exemption from having an audit from July onwards.’
    • ‘If they get exemption from rent control law, their income would increase several times.’
    • ‘It would probably have led on to granting Catholics exemption from tithes and the authority of Anglican courts.’
    • ‘The most important of these was exemption from the Grand Coutume, the export tax imposed on ships sailing from Bordeaux.’
    • ‘The maximum period of exemption from paying the minimum wage is one year and the minimum is three months.’
    • ‘Woodland enjoys several tax breaks, including exemption from inheritance tax after two years.’
    • ‘Its enthusiastic reception earned Rossini exemption from military service.’
    • ‘In my judgment, the rule is that exemption from the rigors of war is in the control of the Executive.’
    • ‘Benefits that would be denied include exemption from a requirement to have a separate work visa.’
    • ‘There is no special exemption from English law for health professionals.’
    • ‘The industry's block exemption from normal competition rules expires in September 2002.’
    • ‘No continent, to our great shame, can claim exemption from such brutalities.’
    • ‘I propose to grant full exemption from tax to the income of this Trust.’
    • ‘Routinely, the request for exemption from the law is rubber-stamped and the ad goes ahead.’
    • ‘Noble, bourgeois, and peasant alike associated status with exemption from public demands.’
    • ‘They cannot claim income tax exemption from the money they earn from doing live concerts.’
    • ‘Can we justify this exemption from standards by saying that it leads to a larger good?’
    immunity, exception, dispensation, indemnity, exclusion, freedom, release, relief, absolution, exoneration
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1also personal exemption The process of exempting a person from paying taxes on a specified amount of income for themselves and their dependents.
      • ‘For 2001, the amount of the dependent exemption is $2,900 per child, the same amount as your personal exemption.’
      • ‘When first enacted, the income tax provided a personal exemption of $4,000 for a married couple, an amount almost 12 times the average income of married couples then.’
      • ‘Fearing a popular outcry, the Tories have coupled the introduction of the flat tax with an increase in the amount of income that is deemed a personal exemption and hence tax free.’
      • ‘Restore the inheritance tax above the $5 million level, and undo the cuts in the top brackets, to pay for a big increase in the personal exemption.’
      • ‘A mismatch may signal that a taxpayer is trying to take a personal exemption for a fictional spouse or claim a bogus refund.’
      • ‘After subtracting the personal exemption, the standard deduction and assuming no tax credits, then applying the 10% rate of the lowest bracket, the person ends up paying a little less than 4% of income in taxes.’
      • ‘He notes today that if the standard personal exemption had kept up with inflation since 1948, it would be $12,941 today.’
      • ‘The mismatches could present a problem for taxpayers seeking to claim a personal exemption or the earned income tax credit.’
      • ‘The personal exemption credit increases for single, married filing separately, or head of household taxpayers from $82 to $85 and for married or surviving spouses from $164 to $170.’
      • ‘Deducting your CGT personal exemption of £8,200 will leave you £6,800 to be taxed on.’
    2. 1.2US An item or amount exempted.
      ‘a series of exemptions from the partnership tax rules’
      • ‘If you claim too many exemptions, you could end up with a big, ugly tax bill in April.’
      • ‘The custodial parent agrees not to claim the exemption for the child by signing this form or a similar statement.’
      • ‘The new law defines a child for purposes of the dependency exemption as a natural or adopted child, a stepchild, or an eligible foster child.’
      • ‘Make sure you type in exemptions, not dependents, or the program won't work, Burlison says.’
      • ‘Epps says by changing her exemptions from three to two, she could get more of her money now instead of later.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin exemptio(n-), from eximere ‘take out, free’.