exponential function


: a mathematical function in which an independent variable appears in one of the exponents

called also exponential

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This notation, which relies on advanced techniques such as transfinite arithmetic, is a type of recurring exponential function, and in this case translates to: 2 to the 2 to the 2 to the 2 to the 2... one thousand times. Adrienne Bernhard, Popular Mechanics, 27 Feb. 2023 The discount factor is an exponential function of interest rates. Vineer Bhansali, Forbes, 2 July 2022 Coleman told me about Louis Slotin, an expert on the exponential function and a physicist at Los Alamos during World War II, who became a victim of exponential growth on May 21, 1946, dying nine days later. Mike Masterson, Arkansas Online, 28 Nov. 2020 So once a perimeter is in place around a certain hot spot, the exponential function eventually becomes inadequate to model the later stages of the spread in that area. Rhett Allain, Wired, 24 Mar. 2020 Computer scientists generally consider an algorithm to be efficient if its running time can be expressed not as a factorial but as a polynomial, such as n2 or n3; polynomials grow much more slowly than factorials or exponential functions such as 2n. Quanta Magazine, 14 Dec. 2015 Like logarithms, or the zero, or exponential functions. Kevin Hartnett, Scientific American, 17 Jan. 2018 The rate of change of the exponential function f(x)=ex is equal to the value of the function itself. Lorenzo Sadun, Slate Magazine, 14 Mar. 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exponential function.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of exponential function was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near exponential function

Cite this Entry

“Exponential function.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exponential%20function. Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on exponential function

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?