verb (used with object), ex·posed, ex·pos·ing.
  1. to lay open to danger, attack, harm, etc.: to expose soldiers to gunfire; to expose one's character to attack.
  2. to lay open to something specified: to expose oneself to the influence of bad companions.
  3. to uncover or bare to the air, cold, etc.: to expose one's head to the rain.
  4. to present to view; exhibit; display: The storekeeper exposed his wares.
  5. to make known, disclose, or reveal (intentions, secrets, etc.).
  6. to reveal or unmask (a crime, fraud, impostor, etc.): to expose a swindler.
  7. to hold up to public reprehension or ridicule (fault, folly, a foolish act or person, etc.).
  8. to desert in an unsheltered or open place; abandon, as a child.
  9. to subject, as to the action of something: to expose a photographic plate to light.
  1. expose oneself, to exhibit one's body, especially one's genitals, publicly in an immodest or exhibitionistic manner.

Origin of expose

1425–75; late Middle English exposen < Old French exposer, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + poser to put (see pose1), rendering Latin expōnere to put out, expose, set forth in words; see expound
Related formsex·pos·a·ble, adjectiveex·pos·a·bil·i·ty, nounex·pos·er, nounself-ex·pos·ing, adjectiveun·ex·pos·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedexpose exposé

Synonyms for expose

Antonyms for expose

2. protect, shield. 5. conceal, hide, cover up.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for self-exposing


verb (tr)
  1. to display for viewing; exhibit
  2. to bring to public notice; disclose; revealto expose the facts
  3. to divulge the identity of; unmask
  4. (foll by to) to make subject or susceptible (to attack, criticism, etc)
  5. to abandon (a child, animal, etc) in the open to die
  6. (foll by to) to introduce (to) or acquaint (with)he was exposed to the classics at an early age
  7. photog to subject (a photographic film or plate) to light, X-rays, or some other type of actinic radiation
  8. RC Church to exhibit (the consecrated Eucharistic Host or a relic) for public veneration
  9. expose oneself to display one's sexual organs in public
Derived Formsexposable, adjectiveexposal, nounexposer, noun

Word Origin for expose

C15: from Old French exposer, from Latin expōnere to set out; see exponent


  1. the act or an instance of bringing a scandal, crime, etc, to public notice
  2. an article, book, or statement that discloses a scandal, crime, etc
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 self-exposing



early 15c., "to leave without shelter or defense," from Middle French exposer "lay open, set forth" (13c.), from Latin exponere "set forth" (see expound), altered by confusion with poser "to place, lay down" (see pose (v.1)). Meaning "to exhibit openly" is from 1620s; that of "to unmask" is from 1690s. Photographic sense is from 1839. Related: Exposed; exposes; exposing.



also exposé, "display of discreditable information," 1803, initially as a French word; past participle of French exposer (see expose (v.)). Earliest use was in reference to Napoleon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper