ex·​o·​dus | \ ˈek-sə-dəs How to pronounce exodus (audio) , ˈeg-zə- How to pronounce exodus (audio) \

Definition of exodus

1 capitalized : the mainly narrative second book of canonical Jewish and Christian Scripture — see Bible Table
2 : a mass departure : emigration

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Synonyms & Antonyms for exodus


gush, outflow, outpour, outpouring


flux, inflow, influx, inrush

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Don't Leave Without the History of Exodos

The Biblical book of Exodus describes the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, so it's no surprise that the word has come to refer more generally to any mass departure. The word itself was adopted into English (via Latin) from Greek Exodos, which literally means "the road out." The Greek word was formed by combining the prefix ex- and hodos, meaning "road" or "way." Other descendants of the prolific hodos in English include episode, method, odometer, and period. There are also several scientific words that can be traced back to hodos. Anode and cathode can refer, respectively, to the positive and negative electrodes of a diode, and hodoscope refers to an instrument for tracing the paths of ionizing particles.

Examples of exodus in a Sentence

the mass exodus from the cities for the beaches and the mountains on most summer weekends

Recent Examples on the Web

Civilian authority in the Pentagon has significantly eroded during Trump’s presidency, sparking an exodus of mid-level officials. Paul Waldman, The Denver Post, "Waldman: How Trump may get manipulated into war with Iran," 19 June 2019 Those 40 — 42 to be exact — are part of a mass exodus of teachers out of classrooms in southeastern Wisconsin in the years following Act 10, the 2011 state law that eliminated collective bargaining for teachers and most other public employees. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MPS is hemorrhaging workers, its teachers union says. Will a new salary schedule help?," 10 June 2019 The overall talent level of FBS tight ends will take a hit after an exodus of All-America contributors to the NFL, including two from Iowa alone in the first round of the recent draft. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 best college football wide receivers and five best tight ends for the 2019," 12 May 2019 The departure from Wall Street is a milestone for the historic financial district in lower Manhattan, following a long exodus of major firms to other parts of the city. Sonali Basak, Bloomberg.com, "Deutsche Bank Joins Wall Street Exodus for View of Central Park," 4 May 2018 That followed $41 billion in outflows from these funds in February—the biggest monthly exodus since January 2008, ICI data show. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Stock Funds Suffering Big Outflows as Rattled Investors Rush to the Exits," 26 Apr. 2018 Myanmar's persecution of its Rohingya Muslim minority has sparked a massive exodus of people over land into neighboring Bangladesh since August, though some have also tried to flee by boat. Fox News, "Indonesian fishermen rescue Rohingya in seas off Aceh," 20 Apr. 2018 The plan sparked widespread criticism and the apparent beginning of an exodus from government officials and parliament members. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Theresa May dismisses calls for 2nd Brexit vote as ninth parliament member resigns," 16 July 2018 The reasons for the exodus from Yoro, which lies about 120 miles north of the capital, Tegucigalpa, are familiar throughout the region. Jim Wyss, miamiherald, "U.S. immigration hard-line spurs some would-be migrants in Honduras to think twice," 8 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of exodus

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exodus

Latin, from Greek Exodos, literally, road out, from ex- + hodos road

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Statistics for exodus

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for exodus

The first known use of exodus was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for exodus



English Language Learners Definition of exodus

: a situation in which many people leave a place at the same time


ex·​o·​dus | \ ˈek-sə-dəs How to pronounce exodus (audio) \

Kids Definition of exodus

: the departure of a large number of people at the same time

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Comments on exodus

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showing courage and determination

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