definition 1: to exercise or bring to bear (power, influence, or the like); put into action.
example: He exerted his influence with the head of the company to get his son a job.
definition 2: to force (oneself) into vigorous or strenuous effort.
example: The doctor told him not to exert himself until he had fully recovered.
example: I know I could succeed if I exerted myself.
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Collocations: Words often used in combination with the transitive verb exert (definition 1)
exert + NOUN: ~ pressure, ~ influence, ~ effort, ~ force, ~ power, ~ control (e.g., The government is trying to exert control over the radical groups.)