exponential

adjective

ex·​po·​nen·​tial ˌek-spə-ˈnen(t)-shəl How to pronounce exponential (audio)
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
exponentially 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.
Recent Examples on the Web Ironically, exponential financial gains have ensued. Steve Denning, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 But the Internet’s exponential growth only depreciated the value of clicks. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 10 Feb. 2024 Despite its exponential growth, Constantin’s DNA stayed the same with its focus on movies for both the German market and global audiences. Erik Kirschbaum, Variety, 8 Feb. 2024 And his financial circumstances stand out because his time in the mayor’s office corresponds directly with the exponential increase in his personal wealth — which had been in negative numbers. Sarah Blaskey, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 Antarctic ice sheets are also sensitive to that half degree, and would see exponential melting at 1.5 degrees Celsius and beyond. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024 In New York, an exponential increase in red flag orders 20202021202220232024 050100150200250300350400450 Data reflects number of final Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) granted monthly. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2024 The exponential action requires capital measured in trillions, not billions. TIME, 16 Jan. 2024 In other words, warm air can hold much more moisture than cold air, and the relationship is exponential. Matt Lanza, Ars Technica, 14 Dec. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exponential.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of exponential was in 1701

Dictionary Entries Near exponential

Cite this Entry

“Exponential.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exponential. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

exponential

adjective
ex·​po·​nen·​tial ˌek-spə-ˈnen-chəl How to pronounce exponential (audio)
: of, relating to, or involving an exponent
xⁿ is an exponential expression
exponentially adverb

Medical Definition

exponential

adjective
ex·​po·​nen·​tial ˌek-spə-ˈnen-chəl How to pronounce exponential (audio)
: expressible or approximately expressible by an exponential function
an exponential growth rate
exponentially adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on exponential

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