Word of the Day : February 23, 2012


noun ek-suh-JEE-sis


: exposition, explanation; especially : an explanation or critical interpretation of a text


For his senior thesis, John wrote an exegesis of the novels of D. H. Lawrence.

"Were it not for another mini-exegesis hanging alongside 'Witness,' uninitiated viewers might have trouble interpreting this large-scale painting as a response to Ethiopia's drought and famine of the 1980s." -- From a review by Kevin J. Kelley in Seven Days (Burlington, Vermont), October 5, 2011

Did You Know?

Theological scholars have long been preoccupied with interpreting the meanings of various passages in the Bible. In fact, because of the sacred status of the Bible in both Judaism and Christianity, biblical interpretation has played a crucial role in both of those religions throughout their histories. English speakers have used the word "exegesis" -- a descendant of the Greek term "exegeisthai," meaning "to explain" or "to interpret" -- to refer to explanations of Scripture since the early 17th century. Nowadays, however, academic writers interpret all sorts of texts, and "exegesis" is no longer associated mainly with the Bible.

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "lymphatic," our Word of the Day from February 4? The answer is ...


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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