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From Latin exsertus, past participle of exserere (to stretch or thrust forth or out), from ex- +‎ serere (to string together).



exert (third-person singular simple present exerts, present participle exerting, simple past and past participle exerted)

  1. To put in vigorous action.
    I exerted myself in today's training.
  2. To make use of, to apply, especially of something non-material.
    He considered exerting his influence on John to gain an advantage for himself.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.
    • 2012 April 18, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona”, in BBC Sport:
      Di Matteo clearly saw Drogba's power as a potential threat to a Barcelona defence stripped of Gerard Pique - but he barely caught sight of goal in a first 45 minutes in which the Catalans exerted their technical superiority.
    • 2022 January 12, Christian Wolmar, “A new year... but the same old mistakes are being made”, in RAIL, number 948, pages 40–41:
      How can the unions - or more specifically the RMT - possibly think this is a good time to exert a bit of industrial muscle and indulge in strikes both on the national railway and the London Underground?


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