The Meaning of Exodus: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of exodus? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word exodus, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word exodus mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other dictionaries like American Heritage and Collins English Dictionary, the capitalized proper noun Exodus refers to the second book of canonical Jewish and Christian scripture in the Torah and Old Testament of the Bible, respectively. The uncapitalized improper noun refers to some mass departure or emigration of a large group. Make sure that you capitalize this noun when using it as a proper noun to refer to the book of scripture, and that you leave it uncapitalized when using it as a common noun. This is proper grammar and will eliminate any confusion.

In the second book of the Bible, Exodus tells the story of the departure of the Israelates from slavery in Egypt. In this Bible book, Pharaoh’s daughter cares for and raises Moses. Moses performs the parting of the Red Sea and leads the Israelites to salvation in Canaan, the Promised Land through the wilderness that was promised to Abraham in Genesis. God guides the way with a pillar of cloud in the daytime and a pillar of fire at night. He also feeds the Israelites with manna and makes a solid rock provide water. Also in this biblical book, the presence of God visits Moses on Mount Sinai and gives him the Ten Commandments and the rest of Mosaic law. Besides the deliverance from the hostile environment of the Egyptians in the second book of the Pentateuch, this book features the plagues of Egypt, the covenant between God and Israel at the Tabernacle, and divine visitation of Moses. These stories are present in Judaism and Christianity.

A plethora of different languages also contain words that mean exodus. You may notice that a lot of these translations of exodus lok and sound like the word exodus. These are called cognates, which are often formed when two words of different languages have the same root or language of origin such as Latin or Greek. Cognates are words that look and sound alike between languages, and also sound similarly or the same. This list of translations of exodus is provided by Word Sense.

  •  French: exode‎ (masc.)
  •  Greek: έξοδος‎ (fem.)
  •  German: Exodus‎ (masc.)
  •  Japanese: 退去‎ (たいきょ, taikyo)
  •  Russian: исхо́д‎ (masc.)
  •  Bulgarian: изселване‎ (neut.)
  •  Esperanto: eliro‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: egzódus‎ (masc.)
  •  Finnish: eksodus‎
  •  Slovene: éksodus‎ (masc.)
  •  Romanian: exod‎ (neut.)
  •  Portuguese: êxodo‎ (masc.)
  •  Spanish: éxodo‎ (masc.)
  •  Italian: esodo‎ (masc.)
  •  Dutch: exodus‎ (masc.), uittocht‎ (masc.)

How can the word exodus be used in a sentence?

The word exodus can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their meaning, as are making flashcards or quizzes for yourself. Try using the word exodus in a sentence today in order to memorize its definition! Below are several examples of exodus.

There was a mass summer exodus off of campus. All of the students traveled abroad for the summer vacation, and the campus was like a ghost town.

The witness recalled the account of the exodus of all of the people from the burning building. He had never seen anything like it before, and was paralyzed with fear.

Every tenant in the apartment building performed a mass exodus. The landlords were shady and no one had hot water for an entire month. They staged a walkout and withheld rent until the problems were fixed.

The children in the Bible study group were studying the book of Exodus. They were fascinated by all of the trials and tribulations of Moses and the Israelites, and provided insightful commentary for such young people.

What is the origin of the word exodus?

According to Etymonline, the proper noun Exodus has been used since late Old English in the early 17th century to reference the second book of the Old Testament. This comes from the Late Latin exodus, from the Greek exodos and Ancient Greek ἔξοδος. This Greek word referred to a military expedition or departure. It literally meant a going out, from the prefix ex meaning out and the root hodos meaning a way, road, journey or march. This word is of uncertain origin. The book in the Old Testament of the bible is called Exodus because it refers to the departure of the Israelites from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. It has been used in a general sense since the 1620s. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of exodus?

There are numerous different words that a person can use in place of the word exodus. These are called synonyms, which have the same definition as the word exodus. These are useful to know if you are trying not to repeat yourself as well as if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word exodus is provided by Thesaurus.

  •  emigration
  •  offgoing
  •  egress
  •  going out
  •  retreat
  •  withdrawal
  •  journey
  •  flight
  •  evacuation
  •  retirement
  •  leaving
  •  departure
  •  exiting
  •  exit
  •  egression
  •  migration

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning as the word exodus. These opposite words are called antonyms which are another great way to expand your English vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word exodus is also provided by Thesaurus.

  •  homecoming
  •  approach
  •  advent
  •  meeting
  •  ingress
  •  return
  •  entrance
  •  alighting
  •  dismounting
  •  occurrence
  •  appearance
  •  influx
  •  arriving
  •  debarkation
  •  arrival
  •  happening
  •  landing
  •  disembarkation
  •  accession

Overall, the word exodus means a departure of a large number of people or it can refer to the second book of the Bible in which the Children of Israel are delivered from Egyptian bondage.


  1. exodus: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. exodus | Origin and meaning of exodus | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  3. EXODUS Synonyms: 20 Synonyms & Antonyms for EXODUS | Thesaurus 
  4. ARRIVAL Synonyms: 47 Synonyms & Antonyms for ARRIVAL | Thesaurus 
  5. Exodus | Definition of Exodus | Merriam-Webster