Definition of exposition in English:



  • 1A comprehensive description and explanation of an idea or theory.

    ‘a systematic exposition of the idea of biodiversity’
    • ‘Wood provides a systematic exposition of the idea of biodiversity.’
    • ‘If you're going to have a sermon at all, it must be a sermon that invites people into an experience, a relationship, and not simply into an exposition or an explanation.’
    • ‘These reviews remain the most comprehensible expositions of the essential elements of regulation.’
    • ‘This is not a matter of giving a semi-popular exposition of the latest theories.’
    • ‘There are signposts in the text but Desai stops so frequently to admire the scenery that they are buried beneath lengthy expositions and descriptions of the setting sun.’
    • ‘Dundes is to be congratulated on his choice of essayists and on his clear exposition of their key ideas placed in an illuminating historical and autobiographical context.’
    • ‘This book is a timely exposition of the theory, research, and clinical techniques associated with emotion and the expression of emotion.’
    • ‘Nadel is excellent at providing an exposition of Stoppard's ideas and the wider social context in which he lives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was widely known for his exposition of the ideas of physics to the layman, and he was held in affection by his many colleagues and pupils for the warmth and simple directness of his personality.’
    • ‘If you read standard expositions of Quantum Theory you can put together a certain list of the things that are not effects.’
    • ‘The first edition of the Critique contained a lengthy exposition of the theory of transcendental idealism.’
    • ‘The idea of a philosophical exposition of the human passions was by no means new.’
    • ‘U.S.-based readers will be particularly thankful for an exposition of European theory and research, most of which has been ignored on our side of the pond.’
    • ‘Intriguingly, the author of this cataclysmic theatrical moment politely refused to engage in either explanations or expositions about his work.’
    • ‘There are other expositions of the theory of dialectics which present it in opposition to formal logic.’
    • ‘It may well be defensible, but it does not receive anything like an adequate exposition, never mind defence, here.’
    • ‘This is an extremely well written and sympathetic essay, which rarely strays beyond an exposition of Guattari's ideas and their evolution.’
    • ‘The way in which Antiochus appeals to human nature and its development in the exposition and defense of his ethics is modeled closely on Stoic theory, however.’
    • ‘The importance of this survey lies in its synthetic descriptions and in its clear expositions on what needs to be further studied in this area.’
    explanation, description, elucidation, explication, interpretation, illustration
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    1. 1.1Music The part of a movement, especially in sonata form, in which the principal themes are first presented.
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘Hummel's paring down of Mozart's work lays bare the exposition and development of themes with absolute clarity.’
      • ‘The exposition of this symphony, for example, is usually taken as singing pure and simple.’
      • ‘His measured, lyrical exposition of the movement's second theme seemed to touch the very soul of the music.’
      • ‘The exposition contains a first theme in two parts, transition, two secondary themes, and a 19-bar closing section.’
  • 2A large public exhibition of art or trade goods.

    ‘the exposition will feature exhibits by 165 companies’
    • ‘Quite small, the LC2 range was designed primarily for apartments and featured in furniture expositions at the time.’
    • ‘With Georges being a supplier of equipment for the construction industry, their life was going to trade shows and expositions.’
    • ‘His woodblock prints have been widely exhibited at national Chinese and also at international expositions - in the U.S.A, Japan, Spain and Taiwan.’
    • ‘The company promotes trade shows and expositions, and publishes books, including the famous ‘For Dummies’ series, among other activities.’
    • ‘Tiffany assured himself a global reputation by displaying his products at international expositions, where they were widely acclaimed and rewarded with medals.’
    • ‘The exposition Precious Stones contains about 1,500 exhibits.’
    • ‘And relocating residents and businesses is a much more significant issue for Shanghai Expo 2010 than for previous expositions.’
    • ‘The workshop founded in Moscow in 1853 grew rapidly into a factory, and its works were also exhibited regularly at international expositions.’
    • ‘Horticultural Hall was the largest structure built for the exposition, which heightened public awareness about landscaping open urban spaces.’
    • ‘Similar to the inaugural event in Beijing two years ago, the exposition in Shanghai also featured a wide range of exhibitions on world soccer.’
    • ‘Pearls and pearl products will be on display at the exposition, which will be open to public though it specifically targets pearl dealers and jewellery houses.’
    • ‘Over 130 companies will have their wares on display, with big expositions from most major auto manufacturers.’
    • ‘He believes that many galleries have become expert globetrotters, exhibiting at all of the major expositions, be they in Basel, Paris, New York or San Francisco.’
    • ‘Eurosatory 2002, one of the world's largest defense expositions, held in Paris in June, was a great success.’
    • ‘This landmark fair was the first of the international expositions held in the United States to integrate the decorative arts with the fine arts objects on view.’
    • ‘Since she graduated from University in 1986, her artworks have been exhibited and frequently awarded at national expositions.’
    • ‘The International Technical Fair is the largest exposition held in Bulgaria.’
    • ‘Photographs were widely used at the exposition, where the public's thirst for vicarious pleasure seemed insatiable.’
    • ‘The format belongs to a recent genre of installation art found in international expositions, that of the mock street bazaar.’
    • ‘The Ministry of Industry and Trade organises one of the biggest country expositions to meet the interest of Czech exporters.’
    exhibition, fair, trade fair, display, show, presentation, demonstration
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  • 3archaic mass noun The action of making something public.

    ‘the country squires dreaded the exposition of their rustic conversation’


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