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



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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 Across the country, there was an exodus from public school rolls that some feared could become a national crisis. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "Public schools facing enrollment dip try to entice parents back," 5 Apr. 2021 Saiyub was one of the millions of people who streamed out of Indian cities last year, an exodus without parallel since the country became independent in 1947. Washington Post, "India’s abrupt lockdown forced millions to walk, bike and hitchhike home. Many lives will never be the same.," 1 Apr. 2021 Of course, folks won't be leaving; there won't be this mass exodus this year due to COVID-19, but there are some concerns about keeping volunteers around to serve during an extended filing season. Tax Notes Staff, Forbes, "How Tax Policy Can Help Low-Income Americans’ Pandemic Plight," 1 Mar. 2021 If there has been an exodus, NASCAR has not noticed. Jenna Fryer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Social justice at NASCAR's forefront as new season begins," 13 Feb. 2021 There was an exodus of students from the state of Illinois. Freep.com, "Support quality local journalism like this by becoming a subscriber.," 12 Feb. 2021 The Rohingya crisis, for one, led to the exodus of hundreds of thousands of citizens from Myanmar’s Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh. Brian Wong, Fortune, "ASEAN states must act to help Myanmar. This is where they should start," 25 Mar. 2021 Added to this, higher multifamily rents in these areas led to a rapid exodus, resulting in an increase in vacancy rates and concomitant softening of rents. Veena Jetti, Forbes, "Why 2021 Is A Watershed Year For The Multifamily Housing Industry," 25 Feb. 2021 Their open hostility toward career foreign affairs professionals has led to an exodus of talent, leaving important roles either unfilled or, worse, manned by unqualified political appointees. Editorial Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, "Biden will need to rebuild, refocus the State Department," 1 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for exodus

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

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Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exodus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exodus. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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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