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ex•ploi•ta•tion(ˌɛk splɔɪˈteɪ ʃən)
2. Taking full advantage of any information that has come to hand for tactical, operational, or strategic purposes.
3. An offensive operation that usually follows a successful attack and is designed to disorganize the enemy in depth. See also attack; pursuit.
(See also VICTIMIZATION
all is fish that comes to his net See ABILITY.
butter one’s bread on both sides See IMPROVIDENCE.
feather one’s nest To look after one’s own interests; to accumulate creature comforts, money, or material possessions either through one’s own efforts or at the expense of others; to be completely selfish, totally unconcerned with the well-being of others. This expression stems from the fact that many birds, after building a nest, line it with feathers and hair to make it warm and more comfortable. The expression line one’s nest is a variation.
fish in troubled waters To take advantage of adversity, stress, or unrest for personal gain; to make the best of a bad situation. Fishermen often experience their greatest success when the water is rough. In its figurative use, the phrase implies that though things may be troubled on the surface, at a deeper level, the situation holds potential for gains.
grist for the mill Any experience, fact, discovery, or object with potential for one ’s personal profit; a seemingly worthless item employed to one’s personal gain or benefit. Grist is unground grain to be converted to meal or flour by milling. In the figurative expression, grist is anything that serves as the raw material which a person’s talents or abilities transform into something of value.
make hay while the sun shines To make the most of an opportunity, to take full advantage of an occasion for profit, to be opportunistic. Hay is made by spreading mown grass in the sun to dry, an impossibility if the sun is not shining both when the grass is cut and when it is set out to dry. A variant of the expression dates from at least 1546. It is often used as an admonition to be provident, as it was by an unknown American author in 1788:
It is better to make hay while the sun shines against a rainy day. (The Politician Out-witted)
milk To extract all potential profit from a person or situation, often with connotations of excessiveness or victimization. Used figuratively as early as the beginning of the 16th century, this term derives from the literal act of extracting milk from an animal by manipulating its udder.
This their painful purgatory … hath of long time but deceived the people and milked them from their money. (John Frith, A Disputation of Purgatory, 1526)
Unlike bleed (see EXTORTION), milk is not limited in its figurative use to money-related matters.
To overplay an audience for applause is called milking the audience. (Hixson and Colodny, Word Ways, 1939)
To milk someone usually implies taking unfair advantage, and is often heard in the expression to milk [someone] for all he is worth.
play the field To remain open to multiple opportunities by not restricting one’s role; to engage in a variety of activities, causes, etc., instead of focusing on just one; to socialize with no one person exclusively.
Japan Plays the Field. Peace and Trade with Everyone. (The New Republic, March, 1966)
In baseball, the outfielders have the largest area of ground to cover and therefore the widest range of playing room, a fact which probably gave rise to the expression. In addition, an outfielder often rotates among all three outfield positions. This American phrase has been in use since at least 1936.
seize the day To make the most of the day, to live each day to the fullest, to enjoy the present to the utmost; originally, Latin carpe diem. This proverbial expression of Epicurean philosophy was apparently first used by the Roman poet and satirist Horace. Both the original Latin and the later English version remain in common use.
The reckless life of Algeria … with … its gay, careless carpe diem camp-philosophy. (Ouida, Under Two Flags, 1867)
strike while the iron is hot To lose no time in acting when an opportunity presents itself, to seize an opportunity to one’s advantage, to act when the time is right. A blacksmith heats the iron he is working on until it is red-hot and most malleable before hammering it into the desired shape. The equivalent French phrase is il faut battre le fer pendant qu’il est chaud. A variant of the expression dates from at least 1386.
It will become us to strike while the iron is hot. (W. Dummer, in Baxter Manuscripts, 1725)
take time by the forelock To act quickly in seizing an opportunity, to take full and prompt advantage of an opportunity for gain or advancement. Phaedrus, a Roman fable writer, describes Father Time (also called Father Opportunity) as an old man, completely bald at the back of his head but with a heavy forelock. Thus, a person who takes time by the forelock does not wait until Opportunity passes before taking advantage of what it offers. The expression has been attributed to Pittacus of Mitylene, one of the seven sages of Greece. Variants of the expression date from the late 16th century.
work both sides of the street To avail one-self of every opportunity to attain a given end; to seek support from opposing camps, to court the favor of rival interests; to walk a tightrope or to play both ends against the middle. The phrase probably derives from salesmen’s lingo. Currently it is said of one who compromises principle in an attempt to garner some desideratum, who slants his approach or his pitch to align with what his listeners will “buy.”
In a crucial election year … was shrewdly working both sides of the street. (Time, cited in Webster’s Third)
|Noun||1.||exploitation - the act of making some area of land or water more profitable or productive or useful; "the development of Alaskan resources"; "the exploitation of copper deposits"|
usage, use, utilisation, utilization, exercise, employment - the act of using; "he warned against the use of narcotic drugs"; "skilled in the utilization of computers"
land development - making an area of land more useful
overexploitation, overuse, overutilisation, overutilization - exploitation to the point of diminishing returns
commercialisation, commercialization - the act of commercializing something; involving something in commerce; "my father considered the commercialization of Christmas to be a sacrilege"; "the government tried to accelerate the commercialization of this development"; "both companies will retain control over the commercialization of their own products"
electrification - the act of providing electricity; "the electrification of rural Tennessee"
|2.||exploitation - an act that exploits or victimizes someone (treats them unfairly); "capitalistic exploitation of the working class"; "paying Blacks less and charging them more is a form of victimization"|
mistreatment - the practice of treating (someone or something) badly; "he should be punished for his mistreatment of his mother"
blaxploitation - the exploitation of black people (especially with regard to stereotyped roles in movies)
sexploitation - the commercial exploitation of sex or sexuality or explicit sexual material; "sexploitation by advertisers is notorious"
colonialism - exploitation by a stronger country of weaker one; the use of the weaker country's resources to strengthen and enrich the stronger country