late 15c., "to leave without shelter or defense," from M.Fr. exposer "lay open, set forth," from L. exponere "set forth" (see expound), altered by confusion with poser "to place, lay down" (see pose). Related: Exposed; exposes; exposing.
also exposé, "display of discreditable information," 1803, initially as a French word; pp. of Fr. exposer (see expose (v.)). Earliest use was in reference to Napoleon.