Definition of “exploit” - English Dictionary

“exploit” in British English

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exploitverb [ T ]

uk /ɪkˈsplɔɪt/ us /ɪkˈsplɔɪt/

exploit verb [ T ] (USE WELL)

B2 to use something in a way that helps you:

We need to make sure that we exploit our resources as fully as possible.

More examples

  • The increased globalization of the commodity trading business is something we must exploit.
  • Exporters can currently exploit the favourable exchange rates.
  • When a great opportunity like that comes along, you'd be a fool not to exploit it.
  • We have a lot of knowledge and experience in this department that we are not currently exploiting fully.
  • Finding myself in a dream situation, I exploited it to the full.

exploit verb [ T ] (USE UNFAIRLY)

B2 to use someone or something unfairly for your own advantage:

Laws exist to stop companies exploiting their employees.

More examples

  • This planet on which we all live should be cherished and not exploited.
  • He was portrayed as a ruthless opportunist who exploited the publicity at every opportunity.
  • High street banks have been accused of exploiting small firms.
  • The minister was sacked for exploiting his position for his own personal gain.
  • She frequently exploits her authority by getting other people to do things for her.
exploitable
adjective uk /ɪkˈsplɔɪ.tə.bəl/ us /ɪkˈsplɔɪ.t̬ə.bəl/

The coal mine is no longer commercially exploitable (= can no longer be used for profit).
The lack of jobs in this area means that the workforce is easily exploitable (= employers can use workers unfairly for their own advantage).

exploitnoun [ C usually plural ]

uk /ˈek.splɔɪt/ us /ˈek.splɔɪt/

(Definition of “exploit” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“exploit” in American English

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exploitnoun [ C ]

us /ˈek·splɔɪt/

a brave, interesting, or unusual act:

daredevil exploits
He is not content to limit himself to his exploits on the basketball court.

exploitverb [ T ]

us /ɪkˈsplɔɪt/

exploit verb [ T ] (USE WELL)

to use something for your own benefit:

The two companies joined forces to exploit the potential of the Internet.

exploit verb [ T ] (USE UNFAIRLY)

to use someone unfairly for your own advantage:

Factories here are coming under criticism for exploiting workers.

(Definition of “exploit” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“exploit” in Business English

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exploitverb [ T ]

uk /ɪkˈsplɔɪt/ us

to use or develop something for profit or progress in business:

exploit resources/technology/information We need to make sure that we exploit our resources as fully as possible.
This collection of valuable sound recordings has never been commercially exploited.

disapproving to treat someone unfairly in order to make money or get an advantage:

Laws exist to stop companies exploiting their employees.
These unfortunate people have been ruthlessly exploited.

often disapproving to use something, often unfairly, for your own advantage:

exploit a loophole/weakness/vulnerability These are responsible employers who are not seeking to exploit loopholes in the legislation.
People exploit the system by lodging multiple appeals.
exploitable
adjective /ɪkˈsplɔɪtəbl̩/ /-ṱə-/

The coal mine is no longer commercially exploitable.

(Definition of “exploit” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)