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

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- (meaning "out of") and hodos, "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 In late February and early March, over three weeks, Hong Kong experienced a net exodus of 20,000 residents per week. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 8 May 2022 The moves come as aides have pressed for Congress to address inequities in its work force and find ways of stemming a staff exodus as aides leave the institution to find better pay and treatment. New York Times, 6 May 2022 Russian troops stormed across the border, setting off a panicked exodus. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 May 2022 Companies will therefore face a difficult choice: stand up for their employees and face possible consequences from Republicans -- or remain silent and face a potential worker exodus. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 4 May 2022 The percentage represents a record-high exodus from the District over the last two decades, the Policy Center reported. Fox News, 4 May 2022 Now, as inflation has put the squeeze on staffers' commuting costs, that exodus has only intensified, Malkin told ABC News. Laura Romero, ABC News, 3 May 2022 These risks to the company’s operations, including a staff exodus, would not end necessarily either once the remaining formalities are dealt with and uncertainty over the deal is removed. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 3 May 2022 Tampering with tenure would provoke an immediate exodus from the U.T. system, with its most visible and accomplished faculty leading the way. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Exodus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exodus. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for exodus


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

More from Merriam-Webster on exodus

Nglish: Translation of exodus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exodus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exodus


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