1620s, "document or object produced as evidence in court," from Latin exhibitum, noun use of neuter past participle of exhibere "to display, show," "to show, display, present," literally "hold out, hold forth," from ex "out" (see ex-) + habere "to hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive"). Meaning "object displayed in a fair, museum, etc." is from 1862. Transferred use of exhibit A "important piece of evidence" is by 1906.
"offer or present to view," mid-15c., from Latin exhibitus, past participle of exhibere "to hold out, display, show, present, deliver," from ex "out" (see ex-) + habere "to hold" (from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive"). Related: Exhibited; exhibiting.
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