Definition of exposition in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɛkspəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/


1A comprehensive description and explanation of an idea or theory: a systematic exposition of the idea of biodiversity
More example sentences
  • The first edition of the Critique contained a lengthy exposition of the theory of transcendental idealism.
  • Finding examples of grounded theory that reveal all its facets and stages is very difficult, and it is unsurprising that many expositions of grounded theory fall back on the original illustrations.
  • This is an extremely well written and sympathetic essay, which rarely strays beyond an exposition of Guattari's ideas and their evolution.
explanation, description, elucidation, explication, interpretation, illustration;
account, commentary, study, article, essay, thesis, paper, treatise, dissertation, disquisition;
critique, criticism, appraisal, assessment, discussion, discourse
formal exegesis
2A large public exhibition of art or trade goods: the exposition will feature exhibits by 165 companies
More example sentences
  • Similar to the inaugural event in Beijing two years ago, the exposition in Shanghai also featured a wide range of exhibitions on world soccer.
  • The company promotes trade shows and expositions, and publishes books, including the famous ‘For Dummies’ series, among other activities.
  • With Georges being a supplier of equipment for the construction industry, their life was going to trade shows and expositions.
exhibition, fair, trade fair, display, show, presentation, demonstration;
North American  exhibit
informal expo, demo
3 Music The part of a movement, especially in sonata form, in which the principal themes are first presented.
Example sentences
  • Thus a sonata exposition, which in Mozart or Beethoven may often have two contrasting themes, is said to have a ‘first subject’ and a ‘second subject’.
  • The exposition contains a first theme in two parts, transition, two secondary themes, and a 19-bar closing section.
  • His measured, lyrical exposition of the movement's second theme seemed to touch the very soul of the music.
4 [mass noun] archaic The action of making something public: the country squires dreaded the exposition of their rustic conversation



Example sentences
  • It can be used for expositional purposes, in the form of diagrams.
  • Several expositional scenes are played out not with actors, but instead with text boxes and silhouette portraits of the characters, as we would see in an adventure game.
  • This disparity may be due to a longstanding view among many educators that expositional informational books are too difficult for children.


Middle English: from Latin expositio(n-), from the verb exponere 'expose, publish, explain'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ex|pos¦ition

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