ex·​po·​nen·​tial | \ ˌek-spə-ˈnen(t)-shəl \

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 \ 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

The money that’s handed over is often spent in a dizzying whirlwind: on merchandise, marketing, talent, ads, events, collabs — all with the goal of seeing exponential sales growth in the shortest time possible. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "When the “best” busts: the spectacular rise and fall of smart luggage startup Raden," 12 Dec. 2018 Italianate homes are seen in greatest number in the American cities that experienced exponential growth during the mid-19th century: Cincinnati, Ohio; New Orleans’ Garden District, and parts of San Francisco, and Brooklyn, New York. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Victorian Homes," 6 Nov. 2018 This has been going on since 2002 Seems their models simply can't conceive of exponential growth pic.twitter.com/vUwOX9j8fm — AukeHoekstra (@AukeHoekstra) November 19, 2018 This headlong decline in costs is a baffling and amazing phenomenon. David Roberts, Vox, "What made solar panels so cheap? Thank government policy.," 20 Nov. 2018 Indeed, the Never Again movement has recognized the exponential possibilities of sweeping in others. Lara Backmender, Glamour, "The March for Our Lives Activists Who Said Never Again," 1 Nov. 2018 Investors savored their massive profit margins and exponential sales growth, and many showed a willingness to test the upper limits of stock-market valuations. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Drop as Bond Yields Keep Climbing," 10 Oct. 2018 To our tribe for expanding with grace and exponential amounts of love. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Troian Bellisario and Patrick J. Adams Welcome Their First Child," 8 Oct. 2018 Uber's battle in the Big Apple isn't over yet: New York's City Council has moved to cap the number of Uber, Lyft, Via, and Juno cars allowed in the city, in an effort to contain the exponential growth of the companies in the last few years. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York City May Cap Uber and Lyft Rides," 27 July 2018 The problem, Shelton indicated at the time, is that there's already enough debris in space to cause an exponential rise in the number of circulating pieces. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "China’s failing satellite is just one example of a massive space debris problem," 29 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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The first known use of exponential was in 1704

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English Language Learners Definition of exponential

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


ex·​po·​nen·​tial | \ ˌek-spə-ˈnen-chəl \

Medical Definition of exponential

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

Other Words from exponential

exponentially \ -​ˈnench-​(ə-​)lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on exponential

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exponential

Spanish Central: Translation of exponential

Nglish: Translation of exponential for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exponential for Arabic Speakers

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