Definition of “exploit” - English Dictionary

“exploit” in English

See all translations

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

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

See all translations

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

See all translations

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)

Help us add to the Cambridge Dictionary!

These examples are from external sources. Click on the icon to tell us if any are not OK.

exploit

The best way to promote development is to open new trading opportunities to developing countries and then help them with aid to exploit those opportunities.
Political extremists will exploit the vacuum we create by our inaction and our prolonged deliberations, undertaken comfortably within our secure environments.
They will be able to exploit a little more the suffering men and women who are often paid less than 100 dollars a month.
An international treaty is a sound basis on which to protect the rights of minorities and a secure framework for overturning policies which exploit them for other purposes.
In a globalised marketplace, the only way to stay competitive is to stay loose, ready to fill the gap, ready to exploit an opening, ready for anything.
We need to ensure that we protect the rights of workers who do not have choices and whose agents know that they can exploit that weakness.
I accept that there must be cooperation between national bodies, in order to combat networks that exploit immigrants and traffic in human beings and to combat organised crime and money-laundering.
We must exploit knowledge to promote growth.
The only way to eradicate poverty and unemployment is to exploit the productive capacity of our industry and agriculture to the full.
Extremist parties exploit people's fears of the other and of foreigners, so that they can propose an easy answer to globalisation.