exponential function

noun

Definition of exponential function

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

called also exponential

Examples of exponential function in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "The Promising Math Behind ‘Flattening the Curve’," 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, "Landmark Algorithm Breaks 30-Year Impasse," 14 Dec. 2015 Like logarithms, or the zero, or exponential functions. Kevin Hartnett, Scientific American, "The Hidden Depth in Math’s Simple Puzzles," 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, "Finding Pi Outside of the Circumference," 14 Mar. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of exponential function

1879, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for exponential function

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The first known use of exponential function was in 1879

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Cite this Entry

“Exponential function.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exponential%20function. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on exponential function

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exponential function

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