exegesis

noun ex·e·ge·sis \ ˌek-sə-ˈjē-səs , ˈek-sə-ˌjē- \
|Updated on: 30 Jun 2018

Definition of exegesis

plural exegeses play \ˌek-sə-ˈjē-(ˌ)sēz, ˈek-sə-ˌjē-\
: exposition, explanation
  • … politicians accustomed to speaking in 20-second sound bites suddenly began regaling (empty) galleries with windy, tendentious exegeses of the Founding Fathers' thoughts on the role of the Senate in confirming judges.
  • —Jacob Weisberg
especially : an explanation or critical interpretation of a text
  • As an exegesis, though, it's nicely done, and Kennedy traces Sontag's main themes deftly along tortuous paths through both essays and fiction.
  • —Larissa MacFarquhar

exegesis was our Word of the Day on 02/28/2018. Hear the podcast!

Examples of exegesis in a Sentence

  1. a psychobiography that purports to be the definitive exegesis of the late president's character

Recent Examples of exegesis from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exegesis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Theological scholars have long been preoccupied with interpreting the meanings of various passages in the Bible. In fact, because of the sacred status of the Bible in both Judaism and Christianity, biblical interpretation has played a crucial role in both of those religions throughout their histories. English speakers have used the word exegesis - a descendant of the Greek term exegeisthai, meaning "to explain" or "to interpret" - to refer to explanations of Scripture since the early 17th century. Nowadays, however, academic writers interpret all sorts of texts, and "exegesis" is no longer associated mainly with the Bible.

Origin and Etymology of exegesis

New Latin, from Greek exēgēsis, from exēgeisthai to explain, interpret, from ex- + hēgeisthai to lead — more at seek



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