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1. A setting forth of meaning or intent.
a. A statement or rhetorical discourse intended to give information about or an explanation of difficult material.
b. The art or technique of composing such discourses.
3. Music
a. The first part of a composition in sonata form that introduces the themes.
b. The opening section of a fugue.
4. The part of a play that provides the background information needed to understand the characters and the action.
5. An act or example of exposing.
6. A public exhibition or show, as of artistic or industrial developments.

[Middle English exposicioun, from Old French exposition, from Latin expositiō, expositiōn-, from expositus, past participle of expōnere, to expound; see expound.]

ex·pos′i·tive (ĭk-spŏz′ĭ-tĭv), ex·pos′i·to′ry (-tôr′ē) adj.
ex·pos′i·tor n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ɪkˈspɒzɪtərɪ; -trɪ) or


of, involving, or assisting in exposition; explanatory
exˈpositorily, exˈpositively adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ɪkˈspɒz ɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i)

also ex•pos′i•tive,

serving to expound, set forth, or explain: expository writing.
[1590–1600; < Medieval Latin]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.expository - serving to expound or set forth; "clean expository writing"
instructive, informative - serving to instruct or enlighten or inform
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


adjective explanatory, descriptive, interpretive, illustrative, interpretative, hermeneutic, explicatory, explicative, elucidative, exegetic A textbook relies heavily on an expository style of writing.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
Or again, does the author describe with merely expository purpose, to make the background of his work clear?
He impounded the dispersing Butteridge plans with one comprehensive sweep of his arm, rescuing them even from the expository finger-marks of the man with the flat voice, and handed them to Bert.
In its 27-page order, the ERC scheduled on October 23 a pretrial conference and evidentiary hearing, with pretrial briefing and expository presentation for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao stakeholders scheduled earlier that month.
The results suggest that when microworlds are combined with the 4C-ID instructional model there are positive effects in learning to program a computer, but they have no impact if an expository method is used.
Several studies have examined how the characteristics of a text influence students' comprehension, but most have focused on general text discourse processing (e.g., Kintsch, 1998), in complete expository texts (e.g., Adesope, Trevisan, & Sundararajan, 2017; Leon, Martinez-Huertas, & Jastrzebska, 2018; Martinez-Huertas et al., 2018), in single-paragraph expository texts (e.g., Maki & Berry, 1982; Wiley, Griffin, & Thiede, 2005), or in mixed sets of texts (e.g., Leon, Olmos, Escudero, Canas, & Salmeron, 2006; Maki, Shields, Wheeler, & Zacchilli, 2005).
Following the alphabet, this book uses poetry and expository text to celebrate America's diverse population and the contributions of those who call it home.
Chapters 6 and 7 both focus exclusively on reading and writing narrative texts and reading and writing expository texts.
Despite Guelan Luarca's succinct direction, the staging feels a bit too expository in some scenes.
We asked each student to write two compositions in response to a narrative and an expository writing prompt.
Consisting of the proceedings of a conference of the same name, held in August 2015 in Notre Dame, Indiana, this volume contains 14 articles and one expository article with open problems.
Based on that article and one other source, they should write a four paragraph expository essay, then conclude with a summary of their own opinion on the topic.--Kris Pritchard, Alpha Omega Academy, Huntsville, TX