ex·​po·​nen·​tial | \ ˌek-spə-ˈnen(t)-shəl How to pronounce exponential (audio) \

Definition of exponential

1 : of or relating to an exponent
2 : involving a variable in an exponent 10x is an exponential expression
3 : expressible or approximately expressible by an exponential function especially : characterized by or being an extremely rapid increase (as in size or extent) an exponential growth rate

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Other Words from exponential

exponentially \ ˌek-​spə-​ˈnen(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce exponential (audio) \ adverb

Examples of exponential in a Sentence

The business has experienced several years of exponential growth. Prices have increased at an exponential rate. 10₃ is an exponential expression.
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Recent Examples on the Web IoT’s exponential connectivity is an ever-expanding mesh of networks and devices. Chuck Brooks, Forbes, "3 Key Cybersecurity Trends To Know For 2021 (and On ...)," 12 Apr. 2021 While the returns of Johnson and Jones would give the team an exponential lift, the Cards already have ensured a more veteran roster compared to last season. Shannon Russell, The Courier-Journal, "Elite shooter Noah Locke picks Louisville basketball after Florida transfer," 11 Apr. 2021 Time is running out: Unvaccinated young people are fueling an exponential uptick in Covid-19 cases in the Midwest, prompting fears of a fourth Covid-19 surge that could spread throughout the United States. Nicholas Florko, STAT, "In the Covid-19 vaccine push, no one is speaking Gen Z’s language," 8 Apr. 2021 All three technologies improved at exponential rates alongside swiftly growing markets. Jessika E. Trancik, The Conversation, "Technology innovation gives government leverage to drive down emissions fast – here’s how," 7 Apr. 2021 Global opportunities for artists become exponential with this partnership. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, "Entertainment Giant HYBE, Home of BTS, Purchases Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings," 2 Apr. 2021 Health officials in public and private hospitals were scrambling to expand critical care units, stock up on dwindling supplies of oxygen and procure scarce intubation sedatives that are being sold at an exponential markup. New York Times, "A Collapse Foretold: How Brazil’s Covid-19 Outbreak Overwhelmed Hospitals," 27 Mar. 2021 Because the multiplication of cells is an exponential affair, the extra two days of multiplication means a great deal more cells and eventually neurons in humans. Mike Wehner, BGR, "Scientists figured out why humans have big brains," 24 Mar. 2021 Much of the parity growth over the last decade or two in the men’s game can be attributed to the exponential improvement of handful of mid-majors that have worked to close the gap between themselves and the Power Five schools. Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY, "Analysis: As mid-majors close the gap and pull upsets, parity grows in women's game for even more Madness," 23 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exponential.' 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 exponential

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for exponential

Time Traveler

The first known use of exponential was in 1704

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Statistics for exponential

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exponential.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exponential. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for exponential



English Language Learners Definition of exponential

: very fast : increasingly rapid
mathematics : including or using an exponent


ex·​po·​nen·​tial | \ ˌek-spə-ˈnen-chəl How to pronounce exponential (audio) \

Medical Definition of exponential

: expressible or approximately expressible by an exponential function an exponential growth rate

Other Words from exponential

exponentially \ -​ˈnench-​(ə-​)lē How to pronounce exponential (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on exponential

Nglish: Translation of exponential for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exponential for Arabic Speakers

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