explode (v.) Look up explode at Dictionary.com
1530s (transitive), "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, destroy the repute of" (a sense surviving in an exploded theory), from ex- "out" (see ex-) + plaudere "to clap the hands, applaud," which is 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 "cause to burst suddenly and noisily" (1794). Intransitive sense of "go off with a loud noise" is from 1790, American English; figurative sense of "to burst with destructive force" is by 1882; that of "burst into sudden activity" is from 1817; of population by 1959. Related: Exploded; exploding.
exploit (n.) Look up exploit at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "outcome of an action," from Old French esploit "a carrying out; achievement, result; gain, advantage" (12c., Modern French exploit), 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.) Look up exploit at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, espleiten, esploiten "to accomplish, achieve, fulfill," from Old French esploitier, espleiter "carry out, perform, accomplish," from esploit (see exploit (n.)). The sense of "use selfishly" first recorded 1838, from a sense development in French perhaps from use of the word with reference to mines, etc. (compare exploitation). Related: Exploited; exploiting.
exploitation (n.) Look up exploitation at Dictionary.com
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 use of the word in U.S. anti-slavery writing; and exploitation was hurled in insult 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]
exploitative (adj.) Look up exploitative at Dictionary.com
1882, from French exploitatif, from exploit (see exploit (n.)). Alternative exploitive (by 1859) appears to be a native formation from exploit + -ive.
exploration (n.) Look up exploration at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Middle French exploration and directly from Latin explorationem (nominative exploratio) "an examination," noun of action from past participle stem of explorare "investigate, examine" (see explore). Alternative explorement is from 1640s.
exploratory (adj.) Look up exploratory at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Latin exploratorius "belonging to scouts," from explorator "scout," from explorare "investigate, examine" (see explore). Alternative explorative is from 1738; explorational is from 1889.
explore (v.) Look up explore at Dictionary.com
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." Compare deplore. However, de Vaan notes that "the ancient explanation, ... that the verb explorare originally meant 'to scout the hunting area for game by means of shouting'" is now considered "unlikely." Second element also is 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.) Look up explorer at Dictionary.com
1680s, agent noun from explore. Replaced earlier exploratour (mid-15c.).
explosion (n.) Look up explosion at Dictionary.com
1620s, "action of driving out with violence and noise," from French explosion, from Latin explosionem (nominative explosio) "a driving off by clapping," noun of action from past participle stem of explodere "drive out by clapping" (see explode for origin and sense evolution). Meaning "a going off with violence and noise" is from 1660s. Sense of "a rapid increase or development" is first attested 1953.
explosive (adj.) Look up explosive at Dictionary.com
1660s, "tending to explode," from Latin explos-, past participle stem of explodere "drive out, reject" (see explosion) + -ive. As a noun, from 1874. Related: Explosives (n.); explosively; explosiveness.
exponent (n.) Look up exponent at Dictionary.com
1706, from Latin exponentem (nominative exponens), present participle of exponere "put forth" (see expound). Earliest use is the mathematical one (said to have been introduced in algebra by Descartes) for the symbol to indicate by what power the base number is to be raised. The sense of "one who expounds" is 1812. As an adjective, from 1580s.
exponential (adj.) Look up exponential at Dictionary.com
1704, from exponent + -ial. As a noun, from 1784. Related: Exponentially.
export (v.) Look up export at Dictionary.com
by 1610s, "carrying out of a place;" perhaps from late 15c., from Latin exportare "to carry out, bring out; send away, export," 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. Related: Exported; exporting; exporter.
export (n.) Look up export at Dictionary.com
1680s, from export (v.).
expose (v.) Look up expose at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to leave without shelter or defense," from Old French esposer, exposer "lay open, set forth, speak one's mind, explain" (13c.), from Latin exponere "set forth, lay open, exhibit, reveal, publish" (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.) Look up expose at Dictionary.com
also exposé, "display of discreditable information," 1803, initially as a French word; noun use of past participle of French exposer "lay open" (see expose (v.)). Earliest use was in reference to Napoleon.
exposition (n.) Look up exposition at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "explanation, narration," from Old French esposicion "explanation, interpretation" (12c.), from Latin expositionem (nominative expositio) "a setting or showing forth; narration, explanation," noun of action from past participle stem of exponere "put forth; explain; expose" (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.) Look up expository at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Medieval Latin expositorius, from exposit-, past participle stem of Latin exponere "set forth" (see expound). Earlier in English as a noun meaning "an expository treatise, commentary" (early 15c.). Related: Expositorial.
expostulate (v.) Look up expostulate at Dictionary.com
1530s, "to demand, to claim," from Latin expostulatus, past participle of expostulare "to demand urgently, remonstrate, find fault, dispute, complain of, demand the reason (for someone's conduct)," from ex- "from" (see ex-) + postulare "to demand" (see postulate (v.)). Friendlier sense of "to reason earnestly (with someone) against a course of action, etc." is first recorded in English 1570s. Related: Expostulated; expostulating.
expostulation (n.) Look up expostulation at Dictionary.com
1580s, "action of remonstrating in a friendly manner;" 1590s, "argumentative protest," from Latin expostulationem (nominative expostulatio) "a pressing demand, complaint," noun of action from past participle stem of expostulare "demand urgently" (see expostulate).
exposure (n.) Look up exposure at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, "public exhibition," from expose (v.) + -ure. Sense of "situation with regard to sun or weather" is from 1660s. Photographic sense "act of exposing to light" is from 1839. Indecent exposure attested by 1825.
expound (v.) Look up expound at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French espondre "expound (on), set forth, explain," from Latin exponere "put forth, expose, exhibit; set on shore, disembark; offer, leave exposed, reveal, publish," from ex- "forth" (see ex-) + ponere "to put, place" (see position (n.)); with intrusive -d developing in French (compare sound (n.1)); the usual Middle English form was expoune. Related: Expounded; expounding.
'In Englissh,' quod Pacience, 'it is wel hard, wel to expounen, ac somdeel I shal seyen it, by so thow understonde.' ["Piers Plowman," late 14c.]
express (v.1) Look up express at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "represent in visual arts; put into words," from Old French espresser, expresser "press, squeeze out; speak one's mind" (Modern French exprimer), Medieval Latin expressare, frequentative of Latin exprimere "represent, describe, portray, imitate, translate," literally "to press out" (source also of Italian espresso); the sense evolution here perhaps is via an intermediary sense such as "clay, etc., that 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; expressible.
express (adj.) Look up express at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "stated explicitly, not implied, clearly made known" from Old French espres, expres (13c.), from Latin expressus "clearly presented, distinct, articulated precisely," past participle of exprimere (see express (v.)). Also late 14c. as an adverb, "specially, on purpose;" it also doubled as an adverb in Old French. An express train (1841) originally was one that ran to a certain station.
express (v.2) Look up express at Dictionary.com
"to send by express service," 1716, from express (n.).
express (n.) Look up express at Dictionary.com
1610s, "special messenger," from express (adj.). Sense of "business or system for sending money or parcels" is by 1794.
expression (n.) Look up expression at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "action of pressing out;" later "action of manifesting a feeling" (mid-15c.); "a putting into words" (late 15c.); from Middle French expression (14c.), from Late Latin expressionem (nominative expressio) "expression, vividness," in classical Latin "a pressing out, a projection," noun of action from past participle stem of exprimere "represent, describe," literally "press out" (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." Related: Expressional.
expressionist (adj.) Look up expressionist at Dictionary.com
1850 in reference to an artist who seeks to portray the emotional experience of the subject, from expression (which was used in the fine arts by 1715 with a sense "way of expressing") + -ist. Modern sense is from 1914, from expressionism (from 1908 as an artistic style or movement). As a noun from 1880. Related: Expressionistic.
expressionless (adj.) Look up expressionless at Dictionary.com
1831, "giving no expression," from expression + -less. Shelley used it with a sense of "unexpressed" (1819).
expressive (adj.) Look up expressive at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "tending to press out," from French expressif, from expres "clear, plain," from stem of Latin exprimere "to press out," also "to represent, describe" (see express (v.)). Meaning "full of expression" is from 1680s. Related: Expressively; expressiveness.
expressly (adv.) Look up expressly at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "in detail, plainly," from express (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "for the express purpose" is c. 1600.
expresso (n.) Look up expresso at Dictionary.com
variant of espresso.
expressway (n.) Look up expressway at Dictionary.com
by 1945, American English, from express (adj.) + way (n.). Express highway is recorded by 1938.
exprobration (n.) Look up exprobration at Dictionary.com
1520s, "act of upbraiding;" 1540s, "a reproachful utterance," from Latin exprobrationem (nominative exprobratio), noun of action from past participle stem of exprobrare "to make a matter of reproach," from ex- (see ex-) + probrum "shameful deed" (see opprobrious).
expropriate (v.) Look up expropriate at Dictionary.com
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.) Look up expropriation at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "renunciation of worldly goods," from Medieval Latin expropriationem (nominative expropriatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin expropriare "deprive of property," from ex- "away from" (see ex-) + propriare "to appropriate" (see appropriate (v.)). 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.) Look up expugn at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "eradicate, exterminate," also "conquer, capture by fighting," from Old French expugner, from Latin expugnare "to take by assault, storm, capture" (source also of Spanish expugnar, Italian espugnare), from ex- (see ex-) + pugnare "to fight" (see pugnacious). Related: Expugned; expugnable.
expulsion (n.) Look up expulsion at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Old French expulsion or directly from Latin expulsionem (nominative expulsio), noun of action from past participle stem of expellere "drive out" (see expel).
expunction (n.) Look up expunction at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Latin expunctionem (nominative expunctio), noun of action from past participle stem of expungere "prick out, blot out, mark for deletion" (see expunge).
expunge (v.) Look up expunge at Dictionary.com
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). According to OED, taken by early lexicographers in English to "denote actual obliteration by pricking;" it adds that the sense probably was influenced by sponge. Related: Expunged; expunging; expungible.
expurgate (v.) Look up expurgate at Dictionary.com
1620s, "to purge" (in anatomy), back-formation from expurgation or from Latin expurgatus, past participle of expurgare "to cleanse out, purge, purify." Related: Expurgated; expurgating. The earlier verb was simply expurge (late 15c.), from Middle French expurger. Meaning "remove (something offensive or erroneous) from" is from 1670s.
expurgation (n.) Look up expurgation at Dictionary.com
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; clear from censure, vindicate, justify," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + purgare "to purge" (see purge (v.)). Sense of "a removal of objectionable passages from a literary work" first recorded in English 1610s. Related: Expurgatory.
exquisite (adj.) Look up exquisite at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "carefully selected," from Latin exquisitus "choice," literally "carefully sought out," from past participle stem of exquirere "search out thoroughly," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + quaerere "to seek" (see query (v.)).

Originally in English of any thing (good or bad, torture and diseases as well as art) brought to a highly wrought condition, sometimes shading into disapproval. The main modern meaning, "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. Bailey's Dictionary (1727) has exquisitous "not natural, but procured by art."
exsanguinate (v.) Look up exsanguinate at Dictionary.com
"render bloodless," 1849, from Latin exsanguinatus "bloodless," as if from a 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.) Look up exsert at Dictionary.com
"to thrust forth, protrude," 1660s, biologists' variant of exert (q.v.) based on the original Latin form. Also as an adjective, "projecting beyond the surrounding parts." Related: Exsertion.
extant (adj.) Look up extant at Dictionary.com
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. Related: Extance; extancy, both 17c., both obsolete.
extemporaneous (adj.) Look up extemporaneous at Dictionary.com
"made, done, procured, or furnished 'at the time,'" hence "unpremeditated," 1650s, from Medieval Latin extemporaneus, from Latin ex tempore (see extempore). Earlier was extemporal (1560s); extemporanean (1620s). Related: Extemporaneously; extemporaneousness.
extemporary (adj.) Look up extemporary at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from extempore + -ary.
extempore (adv.) Look up extempore at Dictionary.com
1550s, 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." As an adjective and noun from 1630s.