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[ik-spoh-nuh nt, ek-spoh-nuh nt] /ɪkˈspoʊ nənt, ˈɛk spoʊ nənt/
a person or thing that expounds, explains, or interprets:
an exponent of modern theory in the arts.
a person or thing that is a representative, advocate, type, or symbol of something:
Lincoln is an exponent of American democracy.
Mathematics. a symbol or number placed above and after another symbol or number to denote the power to which the latter is to be raised:
The exponents of the quantities xn, 2m, y 4 , and 3 5 are, respectively, n, m, 4, and 5.
Origin of exponent
1575-85; < Latin expōnent- (stem of expōnēns), present participle of expōnere to expound; see -ent
1. supporter, champion, proponent, promoter. 2. embodiment, personification. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for exponent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The exponent of Rousseau was ofttimes "long preaching," like St. Paul.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • The popular type and exponent of obstinacy is the mule, a most intelligent animal.

    The Devil's Dictionary Ambrose Bierce
  • Only, the forest-runner, by long use, has raised the exponent of his powers.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • Francesca Caccini was an exponent of the first growth of opera.

    Woman's Work in Music Arthur Elson
  • Afterward she had simply become in memory the exponent of an ideal.


    George Washington Cable
  • She was the first exponent of the law of Judgment after Death for Sin.

  • Pages with similar import can be cited from every exponent of Nationalism.

    The Arena Various
  • If you are the exponent of your code, that code is good enough for me.

    The Tyranny of Weakness Charles Neville Buck
  • Throughout Herzl's life, Die Welt served as the exponent of his ideas.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
British Dictionary definitions for exponent


(usually foll by of) a person or thing that acts as an advocate (of an idea, cause, etc)
a person or thing that explains or interprets
a performer or interpretive artist, esp a musician
(maths) Also called power, index. a number or variable placed as a superscript to the right of another number or quantity indicating the number of times the number or quantity is to be multiplied by itself
offering a declaration, explanation, or interpretation
Word Origin
C16: from Latin expōnere to set out, expound, from pōnere to set, place
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for exponent

1706, from Latin exponentem (nominative exponens), present participle of exponere "put forth" (see expound). A mathematical term at first; the sense of "one who expounds" is 1812. As an adjective, from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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exponent in Science
  (ěk'spō'nənt, ĭk-spō'nənt)   
A number or symbol, placed above and to the right of the expression to which it applies, that indicates the number of times the expression is used as a factor. For example, the exponent 3 in 53 indicates 5 × 5 × 5; the exponent x in (a + b)x indicates (a + b) multiplied by itself x times.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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exponent in Culture

exponent definition

A number placed above and to the right of another number to show that it has been raised to a power. For example, 32 indicates that 3 has been raised to a power of 2, or multiplied by itself; 32 is equal to 9.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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