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Note 292 – The word exponential

English: A graph showing South Korea's exponen...

Image via Wikipedia: Author Lakshmix

Whenever I hear a word that I’m unsure about, I like to find out as much as I can about it, make up sentences in my mind and then try to explain it to others.  After looking up the word exponential at lunchtime, I have been playing around with it in my head and the best way that I can explain it is that if something is rising exponentially, it is rising at an increasing rate. (Note: exponentially is the adverb).

One of the meanings of exponential, according to Merriam-Webster online dictionaries, is “of or relating to an exponent so I thought it would be useful to define exponent first.  Here are the two Merriam-Webster definitions:

  • An exponent is “one that champions, practices, or exemplifies” (therefore someone could be an exponent).
  • An exponent also refers to the symbol written above and to the right of a number, for example, “the exponent ‘3’ in 103 indicates 10 x 10 x 10”.  

Back to the word exponential

Exponential means rapidly increasing (as in size or extent).  Also, as indicated above, an exponential expression would be 103.

Now for some example sentences

  • There has been an exponential rise in the cost of fuel
  • I was shocked at the exponential growth of the company since last year
  • After Suzie posted her blog last night, the number of readers rose exponentially

Your lists many other sentences.

My thoughts:  Although I have heard the word exponential mentioned a few times recently in phrases about ‘company growth’ and ‘rising prices’, it’s not a word that I have used in my vocabulary (yet!). I quite like the sound of it though.

Until tomorrow…



About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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