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noun ex·po·si·tion \ˌek-spə-ˈzi-shən\

Simple Definition of exposition

  • : the act of explaining something : clear explanation

  • : a public show or exhibition

Full Definition of exposition

  1. 1 :  a setting forth of the meaning or purpose (as of a writing)

  2. 2 a :  discourse or an example of it designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand b (1) :  the first part of a musical composition in sonata form in which the thematic material of the movement is presented (2) :  the opening section of a fugue

  3. 3 :  a public exhibition or show

ex·po·si·tion·al play \-ˈzish-nəl, -ˈzi-shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of exposition

  1. This is not an easy book, and the reader may find the layers of detail challenging. There are long expositions of the knotty tangles of monarchical lineage, and the necessary chronicle of historical events occasionally consumes the novel's narrative drive. —Lucy Lethbridge, Commonweal, 23 Oct. 2009

  2. He is masterly in absorbing information and masterful in organizing it—skeptical of fashion, clear in exposition, fluent in communication, unremittingly scholarly. —Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, New York Times Book Review, 11 June 2000

  3. Although they were invited to use an early X ray machine on display at the exposition, they turned down the offer, and they never found the bullet. —T. Burton Smith, American Heritage, September 1992

  4. The subject requires some exposition.

  5. a clear exposition of his ideas

  6. the great Paris Exposition of 1899

Origin of exposition

(see exposit)

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Performing Arts Terms

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February 6, 2016

an official order, decree, or edict

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