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[ek-spoh-nen-shuh l, -spuh-] /ˌɛk spoʊˈnɛn ʃəl, -spə-/
of or relating to an exponent or exponents.
  1. of or relating to the constant e.
  2. (of an equation) having one or more unknown variables in one or more exponents.
  1. the constant e raised to the power equal to a given expression, as e 3 x, which is the exponential of 3 x.
  2. any positive constant raised to a power.
Origin of exponential
1695-1705; exponent + -ial
Related forms
exponentially, adverb
nonexponential, adjective
nonexponentially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exponential
  • Making prediction using exponential calculation is no better than ball-park estimation.
  • The inbred wolf population started to grow at an exponential rate.
  • Evolution is certainly not an exponential process, but a gradual one.
  • These tequilas have experienced exponential demand and high prices.
  • We have now lost too many acres not to recognize an exponential explosion of plants.
  • The unit can hold eight clips, more than enough to cause an exponential rise in road-rage incidents.
  • exponential trends are immensely powerful but deceptive.
  • Economists are always going to believe that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world.
  • But the parasites' exponential growth continues, and after a few more cycles there are billions of them tumbling about the blood.
  • Any exponential growth will eventually fill the entire planet, but something will stop it before then.
British Dictionary definitions for exponential


(maths) (of a function, curve, series, or equation) of, containing, or involving one or more numbers or quantities raised to an exponent, esp ex
(maths) raised to the power of e, the base of natural logarithms exp
of or involving an exponent or exponents
(informal) very rapid
(maths) an exponential function, etc
Derived Forms
exponentially, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for exponential

1704, from exponent + -al (1). As a noun, from 1784. Related: Exponentially.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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exponential in Science
Relating to a mathematical expression containing one or more exponents. ◇ Something is said to increase or decrease exponentially if its rate of change must be expressed using exponents. A graph of such a rate would appear not as a straight line, but as a curve that continually becomes steeper or shallower.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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exponential in Technology

1. A function which raises some given constant (the "base") to the power of its argument. I.e.
f x = b^x
If no base is specified, e, the base of natural logarthims, is assumed.
2. exponential-time algorithm.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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