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

Antonyms: Verb

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

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But before that, the project’s backers have to expose unvaccinated volunteers in order to determine the lowest dose of the virus that will reliably infect them. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, "U.K. Approves Study That Will Deliberately Infect Volunteers With Coronavirus," 17 Feb. 2021 In 2017, the group was caught trying to expose left-wing bias in the Washington Post by having a woman falsely pose as a victim of then-Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "USPS Inspector General ‘looking into’ Project Veritas video on Michigan late ballots," 5 Nov. 2020 Still, the senior congressional official who was briefed on intelligence matters said, China's efforts to influence lawmakers are intended not to influence the election of one candidate over another but to broadly expose flaws in the U.S. NBC News, "China's influence operations offer a glimpse into the future of information warfare," 21 Oct. 2020 Sixteen months ago, the subcommittee set out to expose bad behavior in Silicon Valley’s top companies. Steven Levy, Wired, "Does the House Antitrust Report Mean That Tech Is Evil?," 9 Oct. 2020 One is the injustice collector, impulsive and overconfident, eager to expose naiveté in everyone but themselves. Benedict Carey New York Times, Star Tribune, "Why we believe conspiracy theories," 8 Oct. 2020 Times of crisis expose strengths and weaknesses in our levels of preparedness and response. Frédéric Vacher, STAT, "Collective intelligence and collaboration around 3D printing: rising to the challenge of Covid-19," 10 Aug. 2020 Federal agencies say footage from the cameras could compromise their tactics or expose witnesses in their investigations. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "Federal body camera bill, inspired by Park Police killing of Bijan Ghaisar, included in House police reform package," 2 July 2020 Under increasing pressure from Mitchell, who threatens to expose him to the Panthers, O’Neal eventually provides the FBI with the floorplan of Hampton’s apartment—crucial intelligence that made possible the chairman’s brutal assassination. Elizabeth Hinton, The Atlantic, "Judas and the Black Messiah Warns Us About Black Lives Matter," 13 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the Philippines in 2019, veteran journalist Maria Ressa was arrested in a move experts said was retaliation for an expose revealing violence-inciting fake accounts on Facebook linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. Washington Post, "Trump ban by social media companies came after years of accommodation for world leaders who pushed the line," 15 Jan. 2021 The nation's citizens should see the evidence of the obscene corruption of Russia's leaders — including Navalny's video expose of Putin's perfidy that's already been viewed more than 80 million times. Star Tribune, "Keep the heat on Putin to free Alexei Navalny," 25 Jan. 2021 The report debunked the central thesis of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the U.S., whose 2018 expose of the two-decade McCarrick cover-up sparked the Vatican report in the first place. The Salt Lake Tribune, "AP Analysis: ‘Who am I to judge?’ might explain Pope Francis’ view toward McCarrick," 18 Nov. 2020 This scoop was very, very closely held within the NYT — just like the paper's 2018 Trump tax expose was. Brian Stelter, CNN, "The New York Times' coverage of Trump's taxes is an emperor-has-no-clothes moment," 28 Sep. 2020 Last week, Republicans on the Hill were up in arms over Facebook and Twitter blocking shares of The New York Post’s dubious expose about Hunter Biden. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "Cultural Resentment Is Conservatives’ New Religion," 22 Oct. 2020 Following an expose detailing the deputies’ surveillance of landowners and pipeline protesters, attorneys from the Niskanen Center filed public information requests. Lee Van Der Voo, ProPublica, "It’s His Land. Now a Canadian Company Gets to Take It.," 1 Oct. 2011 Cole's admission and apology came a day after an expose about Cole's family and race was published on the website BlackIndyLIVE.com. Tim Evans, The Indianapolis Star, "Satchuel Cole, leader in the fight for racial equality in Indianapolis, lied about own race," 18 Sep. 2020 Bob Woodward's expose of Trump's lies to Americans about the coronavirus grabbed the headlines earlier this month. Stephen Collinson With Caitlin Hu, CNN, "A new perspective on Trump's charm offensive with North Korea," 17 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler for expose Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for expose

Last Updated

8 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expose. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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