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

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Other Words from expose


exposer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for expose

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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

Verb The shingles had fallen off, exposing the wood underneath. Undercover investigators exposed the scam. They threatened to expose him. Noun a newspaper exposé of government corruption The show aired an exposé on the candidate's financial indiscretions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Could a joint European force do so again anywhere along its exposed underbelly on the North African shore? Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic’s Coming Geopolitical Second Wave," 18 May 2020 Nationwide, low-income communities of color like hers, River Rouge, Mich., are exposed to significantly higher levels of pollution, studies have found, and also see higher levels of lung disease and other ailments. Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, "In the Shadows of America’s Smokestacks, Virus Is One More Deadly Risk," 17 May 2020 If true, this would appear to expose an alarming national defense vulnerability. Keith Kloor, Wired, "Will the New York Times Ever Stop Reporting on UFOs?," 17 May 2020 And fears of having their sexuality outed have kept some patrons who were potentially exposed from coming forward. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Sunday, May 17," 17 May 2020 The vaccine, called ChAdOx1, also appears to have prevented pneumonia and lung inflammatory disease when the animals were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Latest on global search for coronavirus vaccine: Oxford vaccine protects monkeys from COVID," 16 May 2020 Stay-at-home orders have reduced car accidents, injuries and illnesses that would normally bring kids to the ERs of children’s hospitals, while parents’ fear of exposing their families to the coronavirus has exacerbated the trend. Bernard J. Wolfson, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus pandemic hurting pediatric hospitals, too," 16 May 2020 Nick Kotz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who exposed health hazards in the nation’s slaughterhouses, the gamut of hunger in America and the politics behind the Pentagon’s B-1 bomber, died on April 26 in Broad Run, Va. Sam Roberts, BostonGlobe.com, "Nick Kotz, crusading journalist and author, dies at 87," 16 May 2020 In 1881 and 1885, French biologist Louis Pasteur developed successful vaccines against anthrax and rabies respectively, exposing the pathogens to oxygen and heat and weakening but not killing them. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "A Vaccine Against COVID-19 Would Be the Latest Success in a Long Scientific History," 15 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito resigned after the expose was published. Fox News, "MIT scientist resigns over Jeffrey Epstein comments he calls 'misunderstandings and mischaracterizations'," 17 Sep. 2019 George Church, a Harvard scientist who also was quoted in Carreyrou’s expose of Theranos, said the test had nothing substantive to back it up. Isaac Fornarola, USA TODAY, "A single drop of blood: No research or FDA approval behind doctor's testing methods," 22 Dec. 2019 In March 1956, Good Housekeeping ran an expose on chinchilla investments. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "The Chinchilla breeding boom reaches Anchorage: A history," 27 Jan. 2020 Matters have been further complicated, however, by an impending pipebomb: a New York magazine expose of the unsavory practices, and subsequent coverup, at Waystar’s cruises division. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "‘Succession’ Recap, S2E6: Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish," 16 Sep. 2019 All of this has been in the news again recently due to best-selling books by the New York Times and The New Yorker reporters whose exposes brought down Weinstein and later won them a Pulitzer Prize. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Rose McGowan sues Harvey Weinstein, Lisa Bloom, more claiming 'diabolical' intimidation plot," 23 Oct. 2019 The Journal published an expose on Steve Wynn in January 2018 that ultimately led to his ouster from the company. BostonGlobe.com, "The Journal published an expose on Steve Wynn in January 2018 that ultimately led to his ouster from the company.," 11 Nov. 2019 From David Enrich’s Dark Towers, an expose of Deutsche Bank and Donald Trump due out in early 2020. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "The Week Hype Broke Our Brains—The Ledger," 2 Oct. 2019 Journalism seemed a natural fit, and the Smith College graduate was soon ruffling feathers by writing exposes of local racial disparity for the Houston Chronicle, then other papers. Dennis Harvey, chicagotribune.com, "‘Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins’ review: a suitably entertaining tribute to a serious-minded and bluntly funny journalist," 12 Sep. 2019

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for expose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for expose

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expose. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for expose


How to pronounce exposé (audio)

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.)


How to pronounce exposé (audio)

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on expose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expose

Spanish Central: Translation of expose

Nglish: Translation of expose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expose for Arabic Speakers

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