A Word A Day : Exposition

Wednesday, 9th January 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Noun )

Pronunciation : ek-spuh-zish-uhn

1. a large exhibition, e.g. of industrial achievements, sometimes international in scope

2. a detailed description of a theory, problem, or proposal discussing the issues involved, or a commentary on a written text discussing its meaning and implications

3. the act of describing and discussing a theory, problem, or proposal, or of commenting on a written text

4. the opening section of a piece of music, especially of a sonata or fugue, in which the principal themes are introduced

5. the part of a literary or dramatic work in which the basic facts of setting and character are made known

6. an act or example of exposing


14th century. Directly or via French - Latin exposition - exposit - past participle of exponere meaning showing


account, analysis, annotation, article, comment, commentary, composition, construal, construction, critique, delineation, details, discourse, discussion, disquisition, dissertation, editorial, elucidation, enucleation, enunciation, essay, exegesis, explanation, explication, expose, expounding, history, illustration, interpretation, monograph, paper, piece, position paper, presentation, report, review, statement, story, study, tale, text, theme, thesis, tract, tractate, treatise


A criticism is an evaluation or judgment of something, while critique is a somewhat elevated term for the same thing. Review is used as a synonym for these but may also imply a more comprehensive study.


cloud, obscurity, concrete, misconception, compliment, praise

Contextual Examples:

• Everybody was going to the famous Paris Exposition. I too was going to it.

• I said that the Atlanta Exposition would present an opportunity for both races to show what advance they had made since freedom, and would at the same time afford encouragement to them to make still greater progress.

• In 2005, we organised an exposition of 19th-century paintings.

• The singer gave a splendid exposition of vocal talent.

• The students prepared expositions on familiar essay topics.

Related Words:

expose: Verb

expositive: Adjective

expository : Adjective

expositor: Noun

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