AskDefine | Define exempt

Dictionary Definition

exempt adj
1 (of persons) freed from or not subject to an obligation or liability (as e.g. taxes) to which others or other things are subject; "a beauty somehow exempt from the aging process"; "exempt from jury duty"; "only the very poorest citizens should be exempt from income taxes" [ant: nonexempt]
2 (of goods or funds) not subject to taxation; "the funds of nonprofit organizations are nontaxable"; "income exempt from taxation" [syn: nontaxable] [ant: taxable]


1 grant relief or an exemption from a rule or requirement to; "She exempted me from the exam" [syn: relieve, free] [ant: enforce]
2 grant exemption or release to; "Please excuse me from this class" [syn: excuse, relieve, let off]

User Contributed Dictionary




  • Rhymes: -ɛmpt
    Prounounced: ex-em-pt


  1. One who has been released from something.



  1. To release or deliver from some liability which others are subject to.
  2. To except or excuse from the operation of a law.
  3. To grant immunity to.
  4. To free from obligation.
  5. To release; as, to exempt from military duty, or from jury service.
  6. To exempt from fear or pain.

Related terms


To release from a liability which others are subject to
To except from the operation of a law
To grant immunity to
To free from obligation
To release from military duty or from jury service
To exempt from fear or pain

Extensive Definition

An exemption is something that excludes certain things from something else. For example:
  • A grandfather clause, in the modern use of the U.S. term, is an exemption that allows a pre-existing condition to continue, even if such a condition is now prohibited from being begun anew.
  • A tax exemption allows a certain amount of income or other value to legally avoid taxation.
  • Particularly in the US, an exempt employee is one who is exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, i. e. is not entitled to overtime pay and other worker's benefits stated in the FLSA.
  • Rules against beards, burkas, or other religious symbols often have exemptions if they are worn for religious purposes.
  • A student may elect to try for an exemption from a class, if he or she already knows the material from previous work at another school or job. An exemption exam is usually taken by the student as proof of this knowledge because they already know it.
  • Exemption (church): in the Roman Catholic Church, exemption is the whole or partial release of an ecclesiastical person, corporation, or institution from the authority of the ecclesiastical superior next higher in rank.
  • Exemption, A three piece Long Island heavy metal band formed in 2001 in Massapequa.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absolve, acquit, amnesty, chartered, clear, decontaminate, destigmatize, discharge, dismiss, dispense from, dispense with, except, excepted, exculpate, excuse, excused, exempt from, exempted, exonerate, favored, forgive, free, give absolution, give dispensation from, grant amnesty to, grant immunity, grant remission, immune, irresponsible, justify, let go, let off, liberated, licensed, nonpros, pardon, permitted, privileged, purge, quash the charge, release, released, remise, remit, save the necessity, set free, shrive, spare, spared, unaccountable, unanswerable, unliable, unsubject, vindicate, whitewash, withdraw the charge
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