ex·​pos·​i·​to·​ry | \ ik-ˈspä-zə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce expository (audio) \

Definition of expository

: of, relating to, or containing exposition expository writing

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Examples of expository in a Sentence

an expository piece on the workings of the internal-combustion engine
Recent Examples on the Web There's a minimum of overbearing tutorials explaining how to do every last thing, and the game offers almost no pedantic expository dialogue breaking down the rules of the world. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Cyberpunk 2077 is equal parts beautiful and messy," 7 Dec. 2020 The movie steps early and often into the familiar potholes of expository dialogue: telling, telling, telling, not showing. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A young David Bowie tours America in unrevealing biopic ‘Stardust’," 24 Nov. 2020 Munro praised a slender biography that threaded interviews between expository passages. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Who Isn’t a Sucker for a Foldout?," 19 Oct. 2020 You are not being shown so much as told a story, propelled by great bursts of expository dialogue. cleveland, "Disney’s ‘The Right Stuff’ is an object lesson in how not to remake a classic," 9 Oct. 2020 Growing Up Female is the most didactic in the series, using an expository voiceover to relate the bare facts of patriarchal oppression, and to organize its talking heads by theme. Phoebe Chen, The New York Review of Books, "The Films of Women’s Liberation," 27 June 2020 That cerebral approach may have worked, but low-energy cloak-and-dagger escapades and overly expository narrative drain the film of dramatic tension. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Christopher Munch’s ‘The 11th Green’ gets lost in the rough," 25 June 2020 Too much of the dialogue is clumsy and needlessly expository, suffering from Reddi’s unfortunate choice to write in dialect. Michael Schaub, Los Angeles Times, "Review: A dark corner of California’s migrant history, illuminated in a debut novel," 23 Apr. 2020 But a good expository text would explain why the boy is sad, and how feelings can appear differently on the outside. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Children prefer storybooks that teach them how and why the world works, study says," 15 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expository.' 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 expository

1628, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for expository

Time Traveler

The first known use of expository was in 1628

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Cite this Entry

“Expository.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expository. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of expository

chiefly US, somewhat formal used to describe writing that is done to explain something

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