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To put into action, practice, or force; to make use of something, such as a right or option.

To exercise dominion over land is to openly indicate absolute possession and control.

To exercise discretion is to choose between doing and not doing something, the decision being based on sound judgment.

References in periodicals archive ?
Metro said it exercised an option to increase its stake in Publimetro to 49% from 35%.
Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, announced it has exercised an option to acquire the rights to a series of malononitrilamide compounds (MNAs) from Aventis Pharma of Germany.
Example: Employee T exercised an option to buy 10,000 shares of a publicly traded stock for $5.