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 exponentially (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 For instance, the seashells above were digitally graphed using a series of exponential and quadratic functions. Aj Willingham, CNN, "What a great week for rescue pets!," 7 Feb. 2020 The target will be reached through an exponential build-up in renewable-energy capacity, but also changes in the company’s oil and gas portfolio, as well as carbon capture and storage. Mikael Holter, Bloomberg.com, "Equinor Boosts Climate Targets as Oil Output Hits Record," 6 Feb. 2020 Things became tougher to deal with under such a bright spotlight, while Bieber was attempting to figure out how to navigate his life and exponential fame simultaneously. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Justin Bieber gets candid about mental health struggles and addiction in docuseries Seasons," 3 Feb. 2020 Reynolds says that both Row House and StretchLab are under the umbrella of exponential group which has a wide variety of fitness concepts. Laraib Hashmi, Houston Chronicle, "First retail tenants set for new luxury apartment complex in The Woodlands," 29 Jan. 2020 The value of a variable that undergoes exponential decay approaches zero but never reaches it. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘Natural Law and Elegant Math’," 17 Jan. 2020 At current exponential growth rates, models will become prohibitively expensive to run, even with new hardware. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "The Emerging Disconnect Between Business and Academic Interests in A.I.," 17 Dec. 2019 But along with these many finds, scientists have tallied the exponential rate of modern extinctions. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "These are the top 20 scientific discoveries of the decade," 5 Dec. 2019 This is just one example of the exponential impact a single idea can have when it is unleashed into the global open source community. Bob Lord, Quartz, "How open-source code could help us survive natural disasters," 14 Jan. 2020

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

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exponential.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exponential. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for exponential


How to pronounce exponential (audio)

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 exponentially (audio) \ 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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