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

The second half of the internet will not come online as quickly as the first half was doing in the early 2010s; exponential growth cannot continue in a finite world. The Economist, "How the world’s poor are discovering leisure online," 8 June 2019 Such an exponential rise in price is a telltale sign of an eager, maybe inexperienced market—certainly one with plenty of capital to spare. Kevin Conley, Town & Country, "Pablo Picasso Sets a Record for Most Expensive Art Work in the World at Christie's," 12 May 2015 Turtles quickly become the dominant species and start eating everything causing them to grow in an exponential rate. Fox News, "Gutfeld: Be nicer. It will drive your enemies nuts," 5 Aug. 2018 Other studies suggest the relationship is exponential, which would mean an even greater reduction in protection. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "The Burning Question: How Much Sunscreen?," 29 June 2018 The cost is exponential, according to commissioners. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty County attorney to challenge DPS memorandum regarding weight enforcement officers," 29 Apr. 2018 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

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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Statistics for exponential

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for exponential

The first known use of exponential was in 1704

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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 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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