Definition of exert in English:



  • 1Apply or bring to bear (a force, influence, or quality)

    ‘the moon exerts a force on the Earth’
    ‘exerting influence over the next generation’
    • ‘At several points in the novel, she exerts tremendous control over her family.’
    • ‘He soon came to exert considerable influence on surgical practice and hospital policy at Harrogate.’
    • ‘In addition, the amount of money available exerts a considerable influence on the number of securities in a portfolio.’
    • ‘Be more loving towards children as they will exert a positive influence on you.’
    • ‘Across the Maritimes, scores of wharves are being left to crumble, as the power of the sea exerts its inexorable force.’
    • ‘This is peer pressure, societal pressure and all the other social norms exerting their influence on you.’
    • ‘Art exerts a profound influence on the style of life, the mode, range, and direction of perception.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the organization still exerts considerable influence.’
    • ‘The loss of conviction has exerted a powerful influence over American and Western foreign policy.’
    • ‘Strong, varying magnetic fields were already known to exert an upward force on objects in their path.’
    • ‘Silsden exerted considerable pressure but they had left it too late as they failed to score for the first time in over a year.’
    • ‘The fountain exerts a hypnotic influence on children who are irresistibly drawn to remove their shoes and socks and go paddling in the water.’
    • ‘The law enforcement forces already on the ground did not manage to exert sufficient influence.’
    • ‘My bed is not just calling seductively to me, it's exerting some strange force of similar qualities to a high level tractor beam.’
    • ‘In that way, she has been able to spend more time with her grandchildren and exert a beneficial influence.’
    • ‘I was glad to be up early, and happy to finish before the sun exerted its full influence on what was set to be a hot day.’
    • ‘A magnet can exert a force on a moving charged particle, but it cannot change the particle's kinetic energy.’
    bring to bear, apply, bring into play, exercise, employ, use, make use of, utilize, deploy
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  • 2Make a physical or mental effort.

    ‘he needs to exert himself to try to find an answer’
    • ‘The new government should win the public trust by exerting itself to attain tangible results in its efforts to translate the promise into action.’
    • ‘The wife claims that she could be doing something else although she has not overly exerted herself in applying for housekeeping jobs.’
    • ‘She spends as much time as she can with the children but cannot teach or play with them because her throat hurts if she exerts herself.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Parties generally require actual effort, and who wants to exert themselves in this age of modern convenience?’
    • ‘Other than her walks to various news-stands and marketplaces, which she tried to limit, Lydia did not exert herself to physical exhaustion.’
    • ‘However, if you're sick or you've been physically exerting yourself, you need sleep.’
    • ‘Roughly 159 million people, more than half the population of the United States, now live in cities with unhealthy levels of pollution, so anyone exerting themselves outdoors should consider what they're breathing.’
    • ‘Medirlan took the stairs at a run, reveling in the physical exertion even though he exerted himself physically every day as a guard.’
    make an effort, try hard, strive, endeavour, apply oneself, do one's best, do all one can, do one's utmost, give one's all, make every effort, spare no effort, be at pains, put oneself out
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Mid 17th century (in the sense perform, practice): from Latin exserere put forth from ex- out + serere bind.