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 Venezuela is engulfed in political unrest as protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro has intensified in recent months following inflation and the exodus of many Venezuelans. Fox News, "Which countries are considered the most corrupt?," 6 Feb. 2020 Their exodus is putting new pressure on the market as property values have leveled off, new state and federal regulations are kicking in and many investors see few catalysts to push prices much higher after a long run. Esther Fung, WSJ, "Chinese Lead Foreign Selling of U.S. Commercial Property," 4 Feb. 2020 According to Jewish tradition, the origins of Yom Kippur date back to the time of Moses, after the people of Israel made their exodus from Egypt. Christina Maxouris And Doug Criss, CNN, "Everything you wanted to know about Yom Kippur," 8 Oct. 2019 That exodus happened as Fidel Castro took over Cuba in 1959, which prompted hundreds of thousands of Cubans to flee his communist regime. Alan Gomez, USA Today, "Before Super Bowl, Miami's Little Havana faces exodus of Cubans, pressure from developers," 31 Jan. 2020 Others were spending too much time playing video games, while some said that merely expressing their sexuality merited exodus. Heather E. Mooney, The Conversation, "Why it’s unclear whether private programs for ‘troubled teens’ are working," 27 Jan. 2020 There’s been a big exodus of SFPD cops to suburban police departments. Caille Millner, SFChronicle.com, "SF Police Officers’ Association is at a crossroads — even if its leadership doesn’t seem to know that yet.," 24 Jan. 2020 From potentially competitive 2020 reelections, to a growing dread of life in the minority, here are some of the factors that play into this year's Republican exodus. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, "Republicans are leaving the House at a record pace. Why?," 23 Dec. 2019 On a late summer day in 2019, 114 eels that had hoped to start their exodus to Sargasso ended up in the bottom of Mr Olofsson’s boat instead. The Economist, "The mysterious life and times of eels," 18 Dec. 2019

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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exodus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exodus. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for exodus


How to pronounce exodus (audio) How to pronounce exodus (audio)

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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