1. A setting forth of meaning or intent.
a. A statement or rhetorical discourse intended to give information about or an explanation of difficult material.
b. The art or technique of composing such discourses.
a. The first part of a composition in sonata form that introduces the themes.
b. The opening section of a fugue.
4. The part of a play that provides the background information needed to understand the characters and the action.
5. An act or example of exposing.
6. A public exhibition or show, as of artistic or industrial developments.
[Middle English exposicioun, from Old French exposition, from Latin expositiō, expositiōn-, from expositus, past participle of expōnere, to expound; see EXPOUND.]
ex·posi·tive (ĭk-spŏzĭ-tĭv), ex·posi·to′ry (-tôr′ē) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.