[ ek-spoh-nen-shuhl, -spuh- ]
/ ˌɛk spoʊˈnɛn ʃəl, -spə- /


of or relating to an exponent or exponents.
  1. of or relating to the constant e.
  2. (of an equation) having one or more unknown variables in one or more exponents.
rising or expanding at a steady and usually rapid rate:a city experiencing exponential growth.


  1. the constant e raised to the power equal to a given expression, as e3x, which is the exponential of 3x.
  2. any positive constant raised to a power.

Origin of exponential

First recorded in 1695–1705; exponent + -ial

OTHER WORDS FROM exponential

ex·po·nen·tial·ly, adverbnon·ex·po·nen·tial, adjectivenon·ex·po·nen·tial·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for exponential

British Dictionary definitions for exponential

/ (ˌɛkspəʊˈnɛnʃəl) /


maths (of a function, curve, series, or equation) of, containing, or involving one or more numbers or quantities raised to an exponent, esp e x
maths raised to the power of e, the base of natural logarithmsSymbol: exp
of or involving an exponent or exponents
informal very rapid


maths an exponential function, etc

Derived forms of exponential

exponentially, adverb
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

Scientific definitions for exponential

[ ĕk′spə-nĕnshəl ]

Relating to a mathematical expression containing one or more exponents.♦ Something is said to increase or decrease exponentially if its rate of change must be expressed using exponents. A graph of such a rate would appear not as a straight line, but as a curve that continually becomes steeper or shallower.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.