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exponent +‎ -ial


  • (UK) enPR: ĕk-spō-nĕn'-chəl, IPA(key): /ˌɛk.spəʊ.ˈnɛn.tʃəl/
  • (US) enPR: ĕk-spō-nĕn'-chəl, IPA(key): /ˌɛk.spoʊ.ˈnɛn.t͡ʃəl/
  • (file)



  1. Relating to an exponent.
  2. (mathematics) Expressed in terms of a power of e.
  3. (mathematics) Characterised by a rate of change that is proportional to the value of the varying quantity, or, equivalently, by a doubling or halving over successive fixed intervals of time or other parameter.
    exponential growth, exponential decay
    There were two deaths on Monday, four on Tuesday, and eight on Wednesday. The rate of increase seems exponential.
  4. (loosely) Characterised by a very rapid rate of change, especially increase.
    • 2018 July 31, Alvin Carpio, “Is it time to automate politicians?”, in The Economist:
      Of course, one can creatively conjure up a host of things robot-politicians can do at exponential speed and scale, from shaking hands and kissing babies to handling the fundraising “robocalls” that frustrate American voters.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In non-technical contexts, the term is sometimes used loosely to refer to any kind of very rapid change, especially increase. This usage is often discouraged unless the change in question is truly exponential; synonyms such as dramatic may be favored instead.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


exponential (plural exponentials)

  1. (mathematics) Any function that has an exponent as an independent variable.