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[ik-spoz-i-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ɪkˈspɒz ɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/
of the nature of exposition; serving to expound, set forth, or explain:
an expository essay; expository writing.
Origin of expository
1590-1600; < Medieval Latin expositōrius. See expositor, -tory1
Related forms
expositorily, expositively, adverb
semiexpositive, adjective
semiexpository, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for expository
  • However, he too often employs lengthy expository quotes and protracted stretches of trial transcript.
  • The words, which were given to music, have only an expository value.
  • He avoids artiness, writes clear expository prose and has the ability to create real people.
  • The constant stream of expository dialogue becomes laughable after a while.
  • They spill out expository prose from start to finish.
  • In places the narrative turns expository, in order to aid readers wishing to role-play in the setting.
  • The slangy urban narrative style serves the story well, diminished only by choppy, expository writing.
  • The expository level is consistently high, the material is well organized, and the format is most pleasing.
  • You might also consider taking a course in expository writing.
  • Many of the stories stand well alone, but some take a meandering expository path to recount a history or explain a term.
British Dictionary definitions for expository


/ɪkˈspɒzɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
of, involving, or assisting in exposition; explanatory
Derived Forms
expositorily, expositively, 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 expository

1620s, from Medieval Latin expositorius, from expositus, past participle of exponere (see expound). Earlier in English as a noun meaning "an expository treatise, commentary" (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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