Skip to main content
Select Source:

exponent

exponent, in mathematics, a number, letter, or algebraic expression written above and to the right of another number, letter, or expression called the base. In the expressions x2 and xn, the number 2 and the letter n are the exponents respectively of the base x. The exponent indicates the power to which the base is to be raised. When exponents were first introduced, only positive whole numbers were used, and the exponent indicated how many times the base was to be taken as a factor; e.g., 25=32, or 2·2·2·2·2=32. In advanced algebra, fractions, zero, and negative numbers are also used as exponents. Particular meanings have been assigned to these types of exponents so that they obey the same algebraic rules as does the simpler type of exponent. A fractional exponent such as 1/4 or 1/n indicates the fourth or nth root, respectively, of the base. Any nonzero quantity raised to the zero power equals one; e.g., x0=50=(a2+b2)0=1. A negative exponent indicates the reciprocal of the quantity; e.g., x-2 means 1/x2. When quantities of the same base are multiplied together, their exponents are added; e.g., x2·x3=x5. Note that the base must be the same. When a quantity already containing an exponent is raised to a power, the exponents are multiplied; e.g., (x2)3=x6.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"exponent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"exponent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/exponent

"exponent." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/exponent

exponent

ex·po·nent / ikˈspōnənt; ˈekspōnənt/ • n. 1. a person who believes in and promotes the truth or benefits of an idea or theory: an early exponent of the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. ∎  a person who has and demonstrates a particular skill, esp. to a high standard: he's the world's leading exponent of country rock guitar. 2. Math. a quantity representing the power to which a given number or expression is to be raised, usually expressed as a raised symbol beside the number or expression (e.g., 3 in 23 = 2 × 2 × 2).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"exponent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"exponent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent-0

"exponent." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent-0

exponent

exponent Superscript number placed to the right of a symbol indicating its power, e.g. in a4 (=a × a × a × a), 4 is the exponent. Certain laws of exponents apply in mathematical operations. For example, 32 × 33 = 3(2 + 3) = 35; 34/33 = 3(4 − 3) = 31; (32)3 = 3(2 × 3) = 36; 3−5 = 1/35.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"exponent." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"exponent." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/exponent

"exponent." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/exponent

exponent

exponent interpreting XVI; sb. (math.) index of a power XVIII; expounder, interpreter XIX. — L. expōnēns, -ent-, prp. of expōnere EXPOUND.
So exponential (math.) XVIII. — F. exponentiel.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"exponent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"exponent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent-1

"exponent." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent-1

exponent

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"exponent." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"exponent." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent

"exponent." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent

exponent

exponentabeyant, mayn't •ambient, circumambient •gradient, irradiant, radiant •expedient, ingredient, mediant, obedient •valiant • salient • resilient • emollient •defoliant • ebullient • suppliant •convenient, intervenient, lenient, prevenient •sapient •impercipient, incipient, percipient, recipient •recreant • variant • miscreant •Orient • nutrient •esurient, luxuriant, parturient, prurient •nescient, prescient •omniscient • insouciant • renunciant •officiant • negotiant • deviant •subservient • transient •affiant, Bryant, client, compliant, defiant, giant, pliant, reliant •buoyant, clairvoyant, flamboyant •fluent, pursuant, truant •affluent • effluent • mellifluent •confluent • circumfluent • congruent •issuant • continuant • constituent •lambent • absorbent •incumbent, recumbent •couchant • merchant • hadn't •ardent, guardant, regardant •pedant •appendant, ascendant, attendant, codependent, defendant, descendant, descendent, intendant, interdependent, pendant, pendent, splendent, superintendent, transcendent •antecedent, decedent, needn't, precedent •didn't • diffident • confident •accident • dissident •coincident, incident •oxidant • evident •improvident, provident •president, resident •strident, trident •co-respondent, correspondent, despondent, fondant, respondent •accordant, concordant, discordant, mordant, mordent •rodent •imprudent, jurisprudent, prudent, student •couldn't, shouldn't, wouldn't •impudent •abundant, redundant •decadent • verdant • infant • elephant •triumphant • sycophant • elegant •fumigant • congregant • litigant •termagant • arrogant • extravagant •pageant •cotangent, plangent, tangent •argent, Sargent, sergeant •agent • newsagent • regent •astringent, contingent, stringent •indigent • intelligent • negligent •diligent • intransigent • exigent •cogent •effulgent, fulgent, indulgent •pungent •convergent, detergent, divergent, emergent, insurgent, resurgent, urgent •bacchant • peccant • vacant • piquant •predicant • mendicant • significant •applicant • supplicant • communicant •lubricant • desiccant • intoxicant •gallant, talent •appellant, propellant, propellent, repellent, water-repellent •resemblant •assailant, inhalant •sealant • sibilant • jubilant •flagellant • vigilant • pestilent •silent •Solent, volant •coolant • virulent • purulent •ambulant, somnambulant •coagulant • crapulent • flatulent •feculent • esculent • petulant •stimulant • flocculent • opulent •postulant • fraudulent • corpulent •undulant •succulent, truculent •turbulent • violent • redolent •indolent • somnolent • excellent •insolent • nonchalant •benevolent, malevolent, prevalent •ambivalent, equivalent •garment • clement • segment •claimant, clamant, payment, raiment •ailment •figment, pigment •fitment • aliment • element •oddment •dormant, informant •moment • adamant • stagnant •lieutenant, pennant, subtenant, tenant •pregnant, regnant •remnant • complainant •benignant, indignant, malignant •recombinant • contaminant •eminent •discriminant, imminent •dominant, prominent •illuminant, ruminant •determinant • abstinent •continent, subcontinent •appurtenant, impertinent, pertinent •revenant •component, deponent, exponent, opponent, proponent •oppugnant, repugnant •immanent •impermanent, permanent •dissonant • consonant • alternant •covenant • resonant • rampant •discrepant • flippant • participant •occupant • serpent •apparent, arrant, transparent •Arendt •aberrant, deterrent, errant, inherent, knight-errant •entrant •declarant, parent •grandparent • step-parent •godparent •flagrant, fragrant, vagrant •registrant • celebrant • emigrant •immigrant • ministrant • aspirant •antiperspirant • recalcitrant •integrant • tyrant • vibrant • hydrant •migrant, transmigrant •abhorrent, torrent, warrant •quadrant • figurant • obscurant •blackcurrant, concurrent, currant, current, occurrent, redcurrant •white currant • cross-current •undercurrent •adherent, coherent, sederunt •exuberant, protuberant •reverberant • denaturant •preponderant • deodorant •different, vociferant •belligerent, refrigerant •accelerant • tolerant • cormorant •itinerant • ignorant • cooperant •expectorant • adulterant •irreverent, reverent •nascent, passant •absent •accent, relaxant •acquiescent, adolescent, albescent, Besant, coalescent, confessant, convalescent, crescent, depressant, effervescent, erubescent, evanescent, excrescent, flavescent, fluorescent, immunosuppressant, incandescent, incessant, iridescent, juvenescent, lactescent, liquescent, luminescent, nigrescent, obsolescent, opalescent, pearlescent, phosphorescent, pubescent, putrescent, quiescent, suppressant, tumescent, turgescent, virescent, viridescent •adjacent, complacent, obeisant •decent, recent •impuissant, reminiscent •Vincent • puissant •beneficent, maleficent •magnificent, munificent •Millicent • concupiscent • reticent •docent •lucent, translucent •discussant, mustn't •innocent •conversant, versant •consentient, sentient, trenchant •impatient, patient •ancient • outpatient •coefficient, deficient, efficient, proficient, sufficient •quotient • patent •interactant, reactant •disinfectant, expectant, protectant •repentant • acceptant •contestant, decongestant •sextant •blatant, latent •intermittent •assistant, coexistent, consistent, distant, equidistant, existent, insistent, persistent, resistant, subsistent, water-resistant •instant •cohabitant, habitant •exorbitant • militant • concomitant •impenitent, penitent •palpitant • crepitant • precipitant •competent, omnicompetent •irritant • incapacitant • Protestant •hesitant • visitant • mightn't • octant •remontant • constant •important, oughtn't •accountant • potent •mutant, pollutant •adjutant • executant • disputant •reluctant •consultant, exultant, resultant •combatant • omnipotent • impotent •inadvertent •Havant, haven't, savant, savante •advent •irrelevant, relevant •pursuivant • solvent • convent •adjuvant •fervent, observant, servant •manservant • maidservant •frequent, sequent •delinquent • consequent •subsequent • unguent • eloquent •grandiloquent, magniloquent •brilliant • poignant • hasn't •bezant, omnipresent, peasant, pheasant, pleasant, present •complaisant • malfeasant • isn't •cognizant • wasn't • recusant •doesn't

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"exponent." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"exponent." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent

"exponent." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/exponent