[ ek-spuh-zish-uhn ]
See synonyms for: expositionexpositional on Thesaurus.com

  1. a large-scale public exhibition or show, as of art or manufactured products: an exposition of 19th-century paintings; an automobile exposition.

  2. the act of expounding, setting forth, or explaining: the exposition of a point of view.

  1. writing or speech primarily intended to convey information or to explain; a detailed statement or explanation; explanatory treatise: The students prepared expositions on familiar essay topics.

  2. the act of presenting to view; display: The singer gave a splendid exposition of vocal talent.

  3. the state of being uncovered, revealed, or otherwise exposed; exposure.

  4. Music. the first section of a fugue or a sonata form, in which the principal themes normally are introduced.

  5. (in a play, novel, etc.) dialogue, description, etc., that gives the audience or reader the background of the characters and the present situation.

Origin of exposition

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English exposicioun, exposicyon, from Old French exposition, from Latin expositiōn- (stem of expositiō “exposure (of an infant to die); statement, description),” equivalent to exposit(us); + -iōn- ; see expose,-ion

Other words for exposition

Other words from exposition

  • ex·po·si·tion·al, adjective
  • pre·ex·po·si·tion, noun
  • re·ex·po·si·tion, noun

Words Nearby exposition

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use exposition in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for exposition


/ (ˌɛkspəˈzɪʃən) /

  1. a systematic, usually written statement about, commentary on, or explanation of a specific subject

  2. the act of expounding or setting forth information or a viewpoint

  1. a large public exhibition, esp of industrial products or arts and crafts

  2. the act of exposing or the state of being exposed

  3. the part of a play, novel, etc, in which the theme and main characters are introduced

  4. music the first statement of the subjects or themes of a movement in sonata form or a fugue

  5. RC Church the exhibiting of the consecrated Eucharistic Host or a relic for public veneration

Origin of exposition

C14: from Latin expositiō a setting forth, from expōnere to display; see exponent

Derived forms of exposition

  • expositional, adjective

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