ex·​pose | \ ik-ˈspōz How to pronounce expose (audio) \
exposed; exposing

Definition of expose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to deprive of shelter, protection, or care : subject to risk from a harmful action or condition expose troops needlessly has not yet been exposed to measles
b : to submit or make accessible to a particular action or influence expose children to good books especially : to subject (a sensitive photographic film, plate, or paper) to radiant energy
c : to abandon (an infant) especially by leaving in the open
2a : to make known : bring to light expose a shameful secret
b : to disclose the faults or crimes of expose a murderer
3 : to cause to be visible or open to view : display: such as
a : to offer publicly for sale
b : to exhibit for public veneration
c : to reveal the face of (a playing card) or the cards of (a player's hand)
d : to engage in indecent exposure of (oneself)


ex·​po·​sé | \ ˌek-spō-ˈzā How to pronounce exposé (audio) , -spə-\
variants: or less commonly expose

Definition of exposé (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a formal statement of facts
2 : an exposure of something discreditable a newspaper exposé of government corruption

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from expose


exposer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for expose

Synonyms: Verb

debunk, nail, show up, uncloak, uncover, undress, unmask

Antonyms: Verb

camouflage, cloak, disguise, mask

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for expose


show, exhibit, display, expose, parade, flaunt mean to present so as to invite notice or attention. show implies no more than enabling another to see or examine. showed her snapshots to the whole group exhibit stresses putting forward prominently or openly. exhibit paintings at a gallery display emphasizes putting in a position where others may see to advantage. display sale items expose suggests bringing forth from concealment and displaying. sought to expose the hypocrisy of the town fathers parade implies an ostentatious or arrogant displaying. parading their piety for all to see flaunt suggests a shameless, boastful, often offensive parading. nouveaux riches flaunting their wealth

Examples of expose in a Sentence


The shingles had fallen off, exposing the wood underneath. Undercover investigators exposed the scam. They threatened to expose him.


a newspaper exposé of government corruption The show aired an exposé on the candidate's financial indiscretions.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Meanwhile in Phoenix, public health officials said a teenager competing in the World Hip Hop Championship in Phoenix has measles and may have exposed others at the dance competition. BostonGlobe.com, "Tourist may have brought measles to Southern California," 25 Aug. 2019 For people who may have been exposed to HIV, PEP, or Post-exposure prophylaxis, can prevent infection if it is taken within 72 hours. María Méndez, Dallas News, "Dallas County and agencies are ramping up efforts to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. Can it be done?," 23 Aug. 2019 Recent guests at Disneyland, California Adventure and Universal Studios, among other locations, may have been exposed to measles, Los Angeles and Orange County health officials said on Friday. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, "Disneyland, Universal Studios Visitors May Have Been Exposed to Measles," 23 Aug. 2019 Los Angeles health officials provided an additional list of locations where people may have been exposed to measles: Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 8: Aug. 11 between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Soumya Karlamangla, Los Angeles Times, "Teen with measles visited Disneyland, Universal Studios, Santa Monica Pier," 23 Aug. 2019 Orange County residents may have been exposed to measles at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure on August 12 as well as at the Desert Palms Hotel from August 11 to 15. CBS News, "Warning of measles exposure at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park," 23 Aug. 2019 Travelers who visited Las Vegas Boulevard earlier this month may have been exposed to measles, the Southern Nevada Health District warns. Georgia Slater, PEOPLE.com, "Health Officials Confirm a Case of the Measles on Las Vegas Strip," 21 Aug. 2019 The man who moved the raccoon — and who may have been exposed to the rabies virus — is described as white, in his late 30s with brown hair and glasses and driving a Toyota four-door sedan. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County officials are looking for man who moved a rabid raccoon in Pikesville," 20 Aug. 2019 The search for who—or what—might have exposed their location continues 75 years later. National Geographic, "A cold case team is searching for who betrayed Anne Frank," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The sound’s inconsistent, the cuts are sometimes abrupt, and to illustrate his expose of the U.S. government’s involvement in ’70s and ’80s drug trafficking, Bradley relies on just a couple of original interviews and a lot of old news footage. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "Reviews: Sylvester Stallone and Dave Bautista in ‘Escape Plan: The Extractors’; and more," 3 July 2019 The nation had also known for at least 16 years, since the Boston Globe’s 2002 expose revealed the scandal to the country, that Catholic clergy had committed crimes against children. Julie Zauzmer, BostonGlobe.com, "Pa. report on sex abuse shook nation, Vatican, but changed nothing in the state," 14 Aug. 2019 The Southern Poverty Law Center, which considers FAIR to be a hate group, published multiple exposes on Tanton over the years. Los Angeles Times, "John Tanton, quiet architect of America’s modern-day anti-immigrant movement, dies at 85," 18 July 2019 According to an expose in New York Magazine, Elizabeth defended her husband after the allegations unfolded. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Where Is Elizabeth Ailes, Roger Ailes' Wife, Now?," 30 June 2019 On June 5, the AP published an expose accusing Houston's Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, of mishandling an abuse case involving an adult. Daniel Burke, CNN, "Why the nation's two largest religious groups are talking about sex abuse this week," 10 June 2019 Just a day after the bombshell news that the richest man in the world might be splitting his fortune, the National Enquirer published a salacious expose of Jeff's relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a friend of the couple's. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos Have Finalized Their Divorce," 4 Apr. 2019 That fact has changed in recent weeks since the couple announced their plans to divorce, quickly followed by an expose published by the National Enquirer detailing Jeff's ongoing affair with Lauren Sanchez. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Who Is Jeff Bezos's Soon-to-Be Ex-Wife, Novelist MacKenzie Bezos?," 14 Feb. 2019 Farrow’s reported expose would come as Moonves fights Shari Redstone, who along with her father Sumner, controls the majority of CBS and Viacom stock through the family’s National Amusements holding company. Brian Flood, Fox News, "CBS honcho Les Moonves will be accused of sexual misconduct in latest Ronan Farrow bombshell, report says," 27 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of expose


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1803, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for expose


Middle English, from Anglo-French exposer, from Latin exponere to set forth, explain (perfect indicative exposui), from ex- + ponere to put, place — more at position


French exposé, from past participle of exposer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about expose

Statistics for expose

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expose

The first known use of expose was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for expose



English Language Learners Definition of expose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to leave (something) without covering or protection
: to cause (someone) to experience something or to be influenced or affected by something
: to reveal (something hidden, dishonest, etc.)



English Language Learners Definition of exposé (Entry 2 of 2)

: a news report or broadcast that reveals something illegal or dishonest to the public


ex·​pose | \ ik-ˈspōz How to pronounce expose (audio) \
exposed; exposing

Kids Definition of expose

1 : to leave without protection, shelter, or care : subject to a harmful condition The plants were exposed to an early frost.
2 : to cause to be affected or influenced by something She exposed her students to music of different countries.
3 : to let light strike the photographic film or plate in taking a picture
4 : to make known : reveal Reporters exposed a dishonest scheme.
ex·​pose | \ ik-ˈspōz How to pronounce expose (audio) \
exposed; exposing

Medical Definition of expose

1 : to subject to risk from a harmful action or condition children exposed to measles
2 : to lay open to view: as
a : to conduct (oneself) as an exhibitionist
b : to reveal (a bodily part) especially by dissection

Keep scrolling for more

exposed; exposing

Legal Definition of expose

1 : to subject to risk from a harmful action or condition: as
a : to make (one) open to liability or financial loss
b : to leave (a child) uncared-for and lacking shelter from the elements
2 : to cause to be visible or open to view: as
a : to offer publicly for sale all of which I shall expose for sale at public auctionDetroit Law Journal
b : to purposely uncover (one's private body parts) or leave open to view in a place or situation in which such conduct is likely to be deemed offensive or indecent especially as set forth by statute — see also indecent exposure

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on expose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expose

Spanish Central: Translation of expose

Nglish: Translation of expose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on expose

What made you want to look up expose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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