When you get an exemption, you don't have to do something. In the sixties, some people got exemptions from military service during the Vietnam War.

We don't often think of being left out as a good thing, but when you use the word exemption, you mean that someone has been excluded in a positive way. Children are exemptions, or deductions, on tax forms; the more children you have the less taxes you pay. Some non-profits are tax-exempt; their exemption means they pay no taxes at all. Exemptions also spare people from fighting in wars and doing some jobs. An exemption gets you off the hook.

Definitions of exemption

n an act exempting someone

granting immunity, immunity
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an exemption granted after influence (e.g., money) is brought to bear
official immunity
personal immunity accorded to a public official from liability to anyone injured by actions that are the consequence of exerting official authority
sovereign immunity
an exemption that precludes bringing a suit against the sovereign government without the government's consent
testimonial immunity, use immunity
an exemption that displaces the privilege against self-incrimination; neither compelled testimony or any fruits of it can be used against the witness who therefore can no longer fear self-incrimination
transactional immunity
a broader form of use immunity that also protects the witness from any prosecution brought about relating to transactions to which they gave testimony
Type of:
discharge, release, waiver
a formal written statement of relinquishment

n immunity from an obligation or duty

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a period during which offenders are exempt from punishment
diplomatic immunity
exemption from taxation or normal processes of law that is offered to diplomatic personnel in a foreign country
legal exemption from liability for damages
exemption from punishment or loss
grandfather clause
an exemption based on circumstances existing prior to the adoption of some policy; used to enfranchise illiterate whites in south after the American Civil War
Type of:
immunity, unsusceptibility
the state of not being susceptible

n a deduction allowed to a taxpayer because of his or her status (having certain dependents or being blind or being over 65 etc.)

“additional exemptions are allowed for each dependent”
Type of:
deduction, tax deduction, tax write-off
a reduction in the gross amount on which a tax is calculated; reduces taxes by the percentage fixed for the taxpayer's income bracket

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