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  1. the act of exposing, laying open, or uncovering: the sudden exposure of objects that were hidden under the blanket.
  2. the fact or state of being exposed: A bandage will avoid exposure of the wound.
  3. disclosure, as of something private or secret: the exposure of their invasion plans.
  4. an act or instance of revealing or unmasking, as an impostor, crime, or fraud: the exposure of graft and corruption.
  5. presentation to view, especially in an open or public manner: His exposure of his anger shocked the company.
  6. indecent exposure: The suspect was arrested for exposure in public.
  7. a laying open or subjecting to the action or influence of something: The exposure of his theories to ridicule destroyed his self-confidence.
  8. the condition of being exposed to danger, harm, etc.: exposure to toxic mold; exposure to a deadly disease.
  9. the condition of being exposed without protection to the effects of harsh weather, especially the cold: to suffer from exposure.
  10. Photography.
    1. the act of presenting a photosensitive surface to rays of light.
    2. the total amount of light received by a photosensitive surface or an area of such a surface, expressed as the product of the degree of illumination and the period of illumination.
    3. the image resulting from the effects of light rays on a photosensitive surface.
  11. situation with regard to sunlight or wind; aspect: a southern exposure.
  12. a putting out or deserting, especially of a child, without shelter or protection; abandonment.
  13. something exposed, as to view; an exposed surface: exposures of rock.
  14. public appearance, notice, attention, mention, or discussion, especially in the media: great ways to gain exposure for your products on TV and on the Internet.
  15. a prominent, often overextended position or commitment, as in investment, that is considered precarious and risky: The bank was nervous about its exposure in Iran.

Origin of exposure

First recorded in 1595–1605; expose + -ure
Related formsnon·ex·po·sure, nounpost·ex·po·sure, adjectivere·ex·po·sure, nounself-ex·po·sure, nounsem·i·ex·po·sure, noun

Synonyms for exposure

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Antonyms for exposure

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for exposure


  1. the act of exposing or the condition of being exposed
  2. the position or outlook of a house, building, etc; aspectthe bedroom has a southern exposure
  3. lack of shelter from the weather, esp the coldto die of exposure
  4. a surface that is exposedan exposure of granite
  5. mountaineering the degree to which a climb, etc is exposedSee exposed (def. 4)
  6. photog
    1. the act of exposing a photographic film or plate to light, X-rays, etc
    2. an area on a film or plate that has been exposed to light, etc
    3. (as modifier)exposure control
  7. photog
    1. the intensity of light falling on a photographic film or plate multiplied by the time for which it is exposed
    2. a combination of lens aperture and shutter speed used in taking a photographhe used the wrong exposure
  8. appearance or presentation before the public, as in a theatre, on television, or in films
  9. See indecent exposure
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

Word Origin and History for exposure

c.1600, "public exhibition," from expose (v.) + -ure. Sense of "situation with regard to sun or weather" is from 1660s. Photographic sense is from 1839. Indecent exposure attested by 1825.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper