Simple Definition of exponent
: someone who supports a particular cause, belief, etc.
: someone who is known for a particular method, style, etc.
mathematics : a symbol that is written above and to the right of a number to show how many times the number is to be multiplied by itself
Full Definition of exponent
1 : a symbol written above and to the right of a mathematical expression to indicate the operation of raising to a power
2 a : one that expounds or interprets b : one that champions, practices, or exemplifies
Examples of exponent in a sentence
She has become one of America's foremost exponents of the romantic style in interior design.
The exponent 3 in 103 indicates 10 x 10 x 10.
Did You Know?
You probably won't be surprised to learn that "exponent" shares an ancestor with "proponent" - and indeed, the Latin ponere ("to put") is at the root of both terms. "Exponent" descends from "exponere" ("to explain" or "to set forth"), which joins "ponere" with "ex-" ("out"). "Proponent" traces to "proponere" ("to display" or "to declare"), from "ponere" and "pro-" ("before"). "Proponent" can describe someone who offers a proposal (it's related to "propose," which also ultimately comes from "proponere"), but today it usually means "one who argues in favor of something." "Exponent" can also refer to someone who is an advocate, but it tends to refer especially to someone who stands out as a shining representative of something, and in addition it has retained its earlier meaning of "one who expounds."
Origin and Etymology of exponent
Latin exponent-, exponens, present participle of exponere — more at expose
First Known Use: 1706
EXPONENT Defined for Kids
Definition of exponent for Students
: a numeral written above and to the right of a number to show how many times the number is to be used as a factor <The exponent 3 in 103 indicates 10 × 10 × 10.>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up exponent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).