The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Exert \Ex*ert"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Exerted; p. pr. & vb. n.
Exerting.] [L. exertus, exsertus, p. p. of exerere,
exserere, to thrust out; ex out + serere to join or bind
together. See Series, and cf. Exsert.]
1. To thrust forth; to emit; to push out. [Obs.]
So from the seas exerts his radiant head
The star by whom the lights of heaven are led.
2. To put force, ability, or anything of the nature of an
active faculty; to put in vigorous action; to bring into
active operation; as, to exert the strength of the body,
limbs, faculties, or imagination; to exert the mind or the
3. To put forth, as the result or exercise of effort; to
bring to bear; to do or perform.
When we will has exerted an act of command on any
faculty of the soul or member of the body. --South.
To exert one's self, to use efforts or endeavors; to
strive; to make an attempt.