ex·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌek-spə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce exposition (audio) \

Essential Meaning of exposition

1 formal : the act of explaining something : clear explanation The subject requires some exposition. a clear exposition of his ideas
2 : a public show or exhibition the great Paris Exposition of 1889 have/hold/mount an international exposition

Full Definition of exposition

1 : a setting forth of the meaning or purpose (as of a writing)
2a : discourse or an example of it designed to convey information or explain what is difficult to understand
b(1) : the first part of a musical composition in sonata form in which the thematic material of the movement is presented
(2) : the opening section of a fugue
3 : a public exhibition or show

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Other Words from exposition

expositional \ ˌek-​spə-​ˈzish-​nəl How to pronounce exposition (audio) , -​ˈzi-​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for exposition


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Examples of exposition in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web The necessary first act exposition over, the focus moves from wide shot into spotlit personal struggles. David Benedict, Variety, 7 Oct. 2021 Now that everyone’s back in the facility for good, the exposition has melted away, and the games are the focus. Quinci Legardye, Vulture, 2 Oct. 2021 Suggested by an architect for the exposition, Alfred Jensen Roewad, red and white was the winning combination. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, 10 Sep. 2021 Its history dates to the 1915 exposition, when the Japanese government presented a Tea House to San Diego. San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Aug. 2021 For all the pilot’s urgent conversations, visions of doom and rapid-fire exposition, its best scene is its outright strangest. Caroline Framke, Variety, 28 Sep. 2021 Hunter, a British actor best known for her work onstage, plays all three of the weird sisters as well as the old man that exposition handler Ross (Alex Hassell) encounters on the road. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 27 Sep. 2021 Accompanied by cousins Charlotte Casiraghi-Rassam and Melanie-Antoinette de Massy, the twins, both 6, were easily spotted in the crowd at the Espace Fontvielle exposition area checking out Yorkies, terriers, and poodles. Peter Mikelbank, PEOPLE.com, 11 Sep. 2021 Now he's reached such a level that even exposition-heavy scenes (which are to be expected in the first issue of a new team book like Defenders) are livened with intricate layouts and visual storytelling. Christian Holub, EW.com, 7 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of exposition

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exposition

see exposit

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Time Traveler for exposition

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Exposition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exposition. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for exposition


ex·​po·​si·​tion | \ ˌek-spə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce exposition (audio) \

Kids Definition of exposition

1 : an explanation of something
2 : a public exhibition

More from Merriam-Webster on exposition

Nglish: Translation of exposition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exposition for Arabic Speakers


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