AskDefine | Define exemption

Dictionary Definition



1 immunity from an obligation or duty [syn: freedom]
2 a deduction allowed to a taxpayer because of his status (having certain dependents or being blind or being over 65 etc.); "additional exemptions are allowed for each dependent"
3 an act exempting someone; "he was granted immunity from prosecution" [syn: immunity, granting immunity]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Old and modern French exemption, or from exemptio, from eximere


  1. An act of exempting.
  2. The state of being exempt; immunity.
  3. A deduction from the normal amount of taxes.
  4. Freedom from a defect or weakness.


An act of exempting
The state of being exempt; immunity
A deduction from the normal amount of taxes
  • German: Freibetrag
Freedom from a defect or weakness



fr-noun f


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

absolution, allowance, amnesty, cession, charter, circumscription, concession, diplomatic immunity, discharge, dispensation, exception, exclusion, exculpation, excuse, exoneration, extenuating circumstances, franchise, freedom, grace, grain of salt, grant, hedge, hedging, immunity, impunity, indemnity, legislative immunity, liberty, license, limitation, mental reservation, modification, nolle prosequi, non prosequitur, nonprosecution, pardon, patent, permission, privilege, qualification, redemption, release, remission, remission of sin, reprieve, reservation, restriction, salvo, shrift, sparing, special case, special treatment, specialness, specification, stay, waiver
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