exposition

An exposition takes place when you "expose" something — like at a fair or convention for showing off goods, art, or similar wares. An exposition can also be the section of a story that explains the basics of the tale.

In classical music, the first part of a piece is often an exposition, in which the composer lets you hear the tunes and themes that will get worked over during the rest of the piece. Most movies spend a lot of time at the beginning on exposition, as well. The director wants you to know where the story is set, who the characters are, and what it is they want. Exposition is important to set the scene, so the rest of the story makes sense. Exposition can also mean a big fair, often called an "expo." ComicCon is a famous exposition.

Primary Meanings of exposition

1.
n
a collection of things (goods or works of art etc.) for public display
2.
n
a systematic interpretation or explanation (usually written) of a specific topic
3.
n
(music) the section of a movement (especially in sonata form) where the major musical themes first occur
Full Definitions of exposition
1

n a collection of things (goods or works of art etc.) for public display

Synonyms:
exhibition, expo
Types:
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art exhibition
an exhibition of art objects (paintings or statues)
peepshow, raree-show
an exhibition of pictures or objects viewed through a small hole or magnifying glass
fair
a competitive exhibition of farm products
retrospective
an exhibition of a representative selection of an artist's life work
Type of:
accumulation, aggregation, assemblage, collection
several things grouped together or considered as a whole
2

n a systematic interpretation or explanation (usually written) of a specific topic

Synonyms:
expounding
Types:
philosophizing
the exposition (often superficially) of a particular philosophy
moralisation, moralization, moralizing
indulgence in moral pronouncements; the exposition (often superficially) of a particular moral code
Type of:
interpretation
an explanation that results from interpreting something

n an account that sets forth the meaning or intent of a writing or discourse

“we would have understood the play better if there had been some initial exposition of the background”
Type of:
account, explanation
a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.
3

n (music) the section of a movement (especially in sonata form) where the major musical themes first occur

Type of:
section, subdivision
a self-contained part of a larger composition (written or musical)

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