explode (v.)
1530s, "to reject with scorn," from Latin explodere "drive out or off by clapping, hiss off, hoot off," originally theatrical, "to drive an actor off the stage by making noise," hence "drive out, reject" (a sense surviving in an exploded theory), from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plaudere "to clap the hands, applaud," of uncertain origin. Athenian audiences were highly demonstrative. clapping and shouting approval, stamping, hissing, and hooting for disapproval. The Romans seem to have done likewise.
At the close of the performance of a comedy in the Roman theatre one of the actors dismissed the audience, with a request for their approbation, the expression being usually plaudite, vos plaudite, or vos valete et plaudite. [William Smith, "A First Latin Reading Book," 1890]
English used it to mean "drive out with violence and sudden noise" (1650s), later, "go off with a loud noise" (American English, 1790); sense of "to burst with destructive force" is first recorded 1882; of population, 1959. Related: Exploded; exploding.
exploit (n.)
late 14c., "outcome of an action," from Old French esploit (12c.), a very common word, used in senses of "action, deed, profit, achievement," from Latin explicitum "a thing settled, ended, or displayed," noun use of neuter of explicitus, past participle of explicare "unfold, unroll, disentangle" (see explicit).

Meaning "feat, achievement" is c.1400. Sense evolution is from "unfolding" to "bringing out" to "having advantage" to "achievement." Related: Exploits.
exploit (v.)
c.1400 espleiten, esploiten "to accomplish, achieve, fulfill," from Old French esploitier, espleiter, from esploit (see exploit (n.)). The sense of "use selfishly" first recorded 1838, from French, perhaps extended from use of the word with reference to mines, etc. (compare exploitation). Related: Exploited; exploiting. As an adjective form, exploitative (1882) is from French; exploitive (by 1859) appears to be a native formation.
exploitation (n.)
1803, "productive working" of something, a positive word among those who used it first, though regarded as a Gallicism, from French exploitation, noun of action from exploiter (see exploit (v.)). Bad sense developed 1830s-50s, in part from influence of French socialist writings (especially Saint Simon), also perhaps influenced by U.S. anti-slavery writing; and the insulting word was hurled at activities it once had crowned as praise.
It follows from this science [conceived by Saint Simon] that the tendency of the human race is from a state of antagonism to that of an universal peaceful association -- from the dominating influence of the military spirit to that of the industriel one; from what they call l'exploitation de l'homme par l'homme to the exploitation of the globe by industry. ["Quarterly Review," April & July 1831]
exploration (n.)
1540s, from Middle French exploration and directly from Latin explorationem (nominative exploratio), noun of action from past participle stem of explorare (see explore).
exploratory (adj.)
mid-15c., from Latin exploratorius "belonging to scouts," from explorator "scout," from explorare (see explore). Alternative explorative is from 1738.
explore (v.)
1580s, "to investigate, examine," a back-formation from exploration, or else from Middle French explorer (16c.), from Latin explorare "investigate, search out, examine, explore," said to be originally a hunters' term meaning "set up a loud cry," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plorare "to weep, cry."

But second element also explained as "to make to flow," from pluere "to flow." Meaning "to go to a country or place in quest of discoveries" is first attested 1610s. Related: Explored; exploring.
explorer (n.)
1680s, agent noun from explore. Replaced earlier exploratour (mid-15c.).
explosion (n.)
1620s, "action of driving out with violence and noise," from French explosion, from Latin explosionem (nominative explosio), noun of action from past participle stem of explodere "drive out by clapping" (see explode for origin and sense evolution). Meaning "going off with violence and noise" is from 1660s. Sense of "rapid increase or development" is first attested 1953.
explosive (adj.)
1660s, "tending to explode," from Latin explos- (past participle stem of explodere; see explosion) + -ive. As a noun, from 1874. Related: Explosives. Related: Explosively.
exponent (n.)
1706, from Latin exponentem (nominative exponens), present participle of exponere "put forth" (see expound). A mathematical term at first; the sense of "one who expounds" is 1812. As an adjective, from 1580s.
exponential (adj.)
1704, from exponent + -al (1). As a noun, from 1784. Related: Exponentially.
export (v.)
by 1610s; perhaps from late 15c., from Latin exportare "to carry out, send away," from ex- "away" (see ex-) + portare "carry" (see port (n.1)). The sense of "send out (commodities) from one country to another" is first recorded in English 1660s. The noun is from 1680s.
expose (v.)
early 15c., "to leave without shelter or defense," from Middle French exposer "lay open, set forth" (13c.), from Latin exponere "set forth" (see expound), altered by confusion with poser "to place, lay down" (see pose (v.1)). Meaning "to exhibit openly" is from 1620s; that of "to unmask" is from 1690s. Photographic sense is from 1839. Related: Exposed; exposes; exposing.
expose (n.)
also exposé, "display of discreditable information," 1803, initially as a French word; past participle of French exposer (see expose (v.)). Earliest use was in reference to Napoleon.
exposition (n.)
late 14c., "explanation, narration," from Old French esposicion (12c.), from Latin expositionem (nominative expositio) "a setting or showing forth," noun of action from past participle stem of exponere (see expound).

The meaning "public display" is first recorded 1851 in reference to the Crystal Palace Exposition in London. Abbreviation Expo is first recorded 1963, in reference to planning for the world's fair held in Montreal in 1967.
expository (adj.)
1620s, from Medieval Latin expositorius, from expositus, past participle of exponere (see expound). Earlier in English as a noun meaning "an expository treatise, commentary" (early 15c.).
expostulate (v.)
1530s, "to demand, to claim," from Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulare "to demand urgently, remonstrate," from ex- "from" (see ex-) + postulare "to demand" (see postulate (v.)). Friendlier sense is first recorded in English 1570s. Related: Expostulated; expostulating.
expostulation (n.)
1580s, from Latin expostulationem (nominative expostulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of expostulare (see expostulate).
exposure (n.)
c.1600, "public exhibition," from expose (v.) + -ure. Sense of "situation with regard to sun or weather" is from 1660s. Photographic sense is from 1839. Indecent exposure attested by 1825.
expound (v.)
c.1300, from Old French espondre "expound (on), set forth, explain," from Latin exponere "put forth, explain, expose, exhibit," from ex- "forth" (see ex-) + ponere "to put, place" (see position); with intrusive -d (compare sound (n.1)). The usual Middle English form was expoune. Related: Expounded; expounding.
express (v.)
late 14c., from Old French espresser "press, squeeze out; speak one's mind" (Modern French exprimer), Medieval Latin expressare, frequentative of exprimere "represent, describe," literally "to press out" (source of Italian espresso; the sense evolution here is perhaps via an intermediary sense of something like "clay that takes under pressure takes the form of an image"), from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pressare "to press, push," from Latin premere (see press (v.1)). Related: Expressed; expresses; expressing.
express (adj.)
late 14c., from Old French expres, from Latin expressus "clearly presented," past participle of exprimere (see express (v.)). This led to the noun (first attested 1610s) meaning "special messenger." Sense of "business or system for sending money or parcels" is 1794. An express train (1841) originally ran to a certain station.
expression (n.)
early 15c., "action of pressing out;" later (mid-15c.) "action of manifesting a feeling;" (late 15c.) "a putting into words," from Middle French expression (14c.), from Late Latin expressionem (nominative expressio), noun of action from past participle stem of exprimere (see express (v.)). Meaning "an action or creation that expresses feelings" is from 1620s. Of the face, from 1774. Occasionally the word also was used literally, for "the action of squeezing out."
expressionist
an artist who seeks to portray the emotional effect of the subject, first recorded 1850 (adj.), from expression + -ist. Modern sense is from 1914, from expressionism (from 1908 as an artistic style or movement).
expressionless (adj.)
1831, from expression + -less.
expressive (adj.)
c.1400, "tending to press out," from French expressif, from expres "clear, plain," from stem of Latin exprimere (see express (v.)). Meaning "full of expression" is from 1680s. Related: Expressively; expressiveness.
expressly (adv.)
late 14c., "in detail, plainly," from express + -ly (2). Meaning "for the express purpose" is c.1600.
expresso (n.)
variant of espresso.
expressway (n.)
c.1938, American English, from express (adj.) + way (n.).
expropriate (v.)
1610s, back-formation from expropriation, or from earlier adjective (mid-15c.), or from Medieval Latin expropriatus, past participle of expropriare "to deprive of one's own." Related: Expropriated; expropriating.
expropriation (n.)
mid-15c., "renunciation of worldly goods," from Medieval Latin expropriationem (nominative expropriatio), noun of action from Late Latin expropriare "deprive of property," from ex- "away from" (see ex-) + propriare "to appropriate" (see appropriate). Sense of "a taking of someone's property," especially for public use, is from 1848; as Weekley puts it, "Current sense of organized theft appears to have arisen among Ger. socialists."
expugn (v.)
early 15c., "eradicate, exterminate," also "conquer, defeat," from Old French expugner, from Latin expugnare "to take by assault, storm, capture," from ex- (see ex-) + pugnare "to fight" (see pugnacious). Related: Expugned.
expulsion (n.)
c.1400, from Old French expulsion, from Latin expulsionem (nominative expropriatio), noun of action from past participle stem of expellere "drive out" (see expel).
expunge (v.)
c.1600, from Latin expungere "prick out, blot out, mark (a name on a list) for deletion" by pricking dots above or below it, literally "prick out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + pungere "to prick, stab" (see pungent). Related: Expunged; expunging.
expurgate (v.)
1620s, back-formation from expurgation or from Latin expurgatus, past participle of expurgare "to cleanse out, purge, purify" (see expurgation). Related: Expurgated; expurgating. The earlier verb was simply expurge (late 15c.), from Middle French expurger.
expurgation (n.)
early 15c., "a cleansing from impurity," from Latin expurgationem (nominative expurgatio), noun of action from past participle stem of expurgare "to cleanse out, purge, purify," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + purgare "to purge" (see purge (v.)). Sense of "remove objectionable passages from a literary work" first recorded in English 1610s.
exquisite (adj.)
early 15c., "carefully selected," from Latin exquisitus "carefully sought out," thus, "choice," from past participle of exquirere "search out thoroughly," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + quaerere "to seek" (see query (v.)).

Of any thing (good or bad, torture as well as art) brought to a highly wrought condition, sometimes shading into disapproval. A vogue word 15c.-18c., given wide extensions of meaning, none of which survives. The main modern sense of "of consummate and delightful excellence" is first attested 1579, in Lyly's "Euphues." Related: Exquisitely; exquisiteness. The noun meaning "a dandy, fop" is from 1819.
exsanguinate (v.)
1849, from Latin exsanguinatus "bloodless," past participle of exsanguinare, from ex- "out" (see ex-) + sanguinem (nominative sanguis) "blood" (see sanguinary). Related: Exsanguinated; exsanguinating; exsanguination. As an adjective, exsanguine "bloodless" is attested from mid-17c. in literal and figurative use.
exsert (v.)
"to thrust forth, protrude," 1660s, biologists' variant of exert (q.v.).
extant (adj.)
1540s, "standing out above a surface," from Latin extantem (nominative extans), present participle of extare "stand out, be visible, exist," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Sense of "in existence" attested in English by 1560s.
extemporaneous (adj.)
1650s (earlier extemporal, 1560s), from Medieval Latin extemporaneus, from Latin ex tempore (see extempore). Related: Extemporaneously.
extempore
1550s (adv.), 1630s (n.), from Latin phrase ex tempore "offhand, in accordance with (the needs of) the moment," literally "out of time," from ex "out of" (see ex-) + tempore, ablative of tempus (genitive temporis) "time" (see temporal). Of speaking, strictly "without preparation, without time to prepare," but now often with a sense merely of "without notes or a teleprompter."
extemporize (v.)
1640s (implied in extemporizing), "to speak ex tempore;" see extempore + -ize. Related: Extemporized.
extend (v.)
early 14c., "to value, assess;" late 14c. "to stretch out, lengthen," from Anglo-French estendre (late 13c.), Old French estendre "stretch out, extend, increase," from Latin extendere "stretch out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Related: Extended; extending.
extension (n.)
c.1400, from Old French extension (14c.) and directly from Latin extensionem/extentionem (nominative extensio/extentio), noun of action from past participle stem of extendere (see extend). In a concrete sense, "extended portion of something" (a railroad, etc.), from 1852. Telephone sense is from 1906.
extensive (adj.)
"vast, far-reaching;" c.1600 of immaterial, c.1700 of material things; from Late Latin extensivus, from extens-, past participle stem of Latin extendere (see extend). Earlier in a medical sense, "characterized by swelling" (early 15c.). Related: Extensively; extensiveness.
extensor (n.)
1713, short for medical Latin musculus extensor, from Late Latin extensor "stretcher," agent noun from Latin extensus (see extend).
extent (n.)
early 14c., from Anglo-French extente, Old French estente "valuation of land, stretch of land," from fem. past participle of Old French extendre "extend," from Latin extendere (see extend). Meaning "degree to which something extends" is from 1590s.
extenuate (v.)
1520s, from Latin extenuatus, past participle of extenuare "lessen, make small, reduce, diminish," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + tenuare "make thin," from tenuis "thin" (see tenet). Related: Extenuated; extenuating. Extenuating circumstances attested from 1660s.