Growth of a system in which the amount being added to the system is proportional to the amount already present: the bigger the system is, the greater the increase. (See geometric progression.)
In everyday speech, exponential growth means runaway expansion, such as in population growth.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.