ex·​po·​si·​tion ˌek-spə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce exposition (audio)
: a setting forth of the meaning or purpose (as of a writing)
: discourse or an example of it designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand
: the first part of a musical composition in sonata form in which the thematic material of the movement is presented
: the opening section of a fugue
: a public exhibition or show
ˌek-spə-ˈzish-nəl How to pronounce exposition (audio)

Example Sentences

This is not an easy book, and the reader may find the layers of detail challenging. There are long expositions of the knotty tangles of monarchical lineage, and the necessary chronicle of historical events occasionally consumes the novel's narrative drive. Lucy Lethbridge, Commonweal, 23 Oct. 2009
He is masterly in absorbing information and masterful in organizing it—skeptical of fashion, clear in exposition, fluent in communication, unremittingly scholarly. Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, New York Times Book Review, 11 June 2000
Although they were invited to use an early X ray machine on display at the exposition, they turned down the offer, and they never found the bullet. T. Burton Smith, American Heritage, September 1992
The subject requires some exposition. a clear exposition of his ideas
Recent Examples on the Web Awakened to God’s Love is the title of the program March 13, which includes exposition of the sacrament. Melinda Moore, Chicago Tribune, 8 Mar. 2023 As a comedy, Quantumania substitutes the endearing shtick of Michael Peña breathlessly delivering exposition in favor of diet Rick and Morty zaniness from screenwriter Jeff Loveness. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 14 Feb. 2023 The Richardson Police Department is holding a public safety exposition on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m.-noon at city hall, 411 W. Arapaho Road. Dallas News, 18 Aug. 2022 Are there scenes that were shot that provide more exposition, and discarded later in the editing process? Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 16 Aug. 2022 The more religiously inclined can wander an exposition of nativity scenes from around the world. CNN, 3 Dec. 2022 The movie suffers from none of the self-seriousness or draggy exposition of other Marvel outings, even when its patchwork plot feels stuck together with rainbows and chewing gum. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 8 July 2022 Bongela’s language privileges melody and potent imagery, turning a standard exposition into a literary experience. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 1 Feb. 2023 As Mary meets Geneviève (Nathalie Richard), the other woman, and her temperamental son, Solomon (Talid Ariss), the filmmaker lets these discoveries wash over Mary without clunky exposition or ham-handed insights. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see exposit

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of exposition was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near exposition

Cite this Entry

“Exposition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exposition. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​po·​si·​tion ˌek-spə-ˈzish-ən How to pronounce exposition (audio)
: an explanation of something
: a piece of writing that explains
: the first part of a piece of music in which the theme is presented
: a public exhibition

More from Merriam-Webster on exposition

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