Etymology
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exponent (n.)

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 placed above and to the right of another to indicate by what power the base number is to be raised. The sense of "one who expounds" is by 1812. As an adjective, "exemplifying, explicating," from 1580s.

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Definitions of exponent

exponent (n.)
a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea;
Synonyms: advocate / advocator / proponent
exponent (n.)
someone who expounds and interprets or explains;
exponent (n.)
a mathematical notation indicating the number of times a quantity is multiplied by itself;
Synonyms: power / index
From wordnet.princeton.edu