Exert basically means to put forth effort to do something. For example, when you exert yourself in a workout, you can really feel the burn in your muscles.

The Latin verb exserere — with its derivative form exsertus, which is the source of our word — means to "put forth." That's where exert gets its meaning of physical force — consider that when you try hard at something, you put forth effort to do it, you push yourself. But exert can refer to other ways you "push": you exert your influence to convince others to think your way; when one nation exerts its power on another; and gravity exerts its force on us, holding us down on earth.

Definitions of exert
  1. verb
    put to use
    exert one's power or influence”
    synonyms: exercise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  2. verb
    have and exercise
    synonyms: maintain, wield
    see moresee less
    type of:
    have, have got, hold
    have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense
  3. verb
    make a great effort at a mental or physical task
    exert oneself”
    see moresee less
    exert (oneself) excessively and go beyond one's strength
    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
Word Family