Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Critical explanation or analysis, especially of a text.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An exposition or explanation of a text, especially a religious one.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Exposition; explanation; especially, a critical explanation of a text or portion of Scripture.
  • n. The process of finding the roots of an equation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The exposition or interpretation of any literary production or passage; more particularly, the exposition or interpretation of Scripture. See exegetical theology, under exegetical.
  • n. A discourse intended to explain or illustrate a subject; specifically, an exercise in Biblical interpretation sometimes prescribed to students of theology when on examination preliminary to licensure or ordination.
  • n. In mathematics, in the language of Vieta and other early algebraists, the numerical or geometrical solution of an equation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)

Etymologies

Greek exēgēsis, from exēgeisthai, to interpret : ex-, ex- + hēgeisthai, to lead; see sāg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek ἐξήγησις (eksēgēsis, "interpretation"), from ἐξηγέομαι (eksēgeomai, "I explain, interpret"), from ἐξ (eks, "out") + ἡγέομαι (hēgeomai, "I lead, guide"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Dick had already written more than a million words of personal notes on this topic, he said, notes he referred to as his "exegesis" - a word that traditionally means an explanation or interpretation of Scripture.

    NYT > Home Page

  • I think that biblical exegesis is done the same way.

    Creative jacket blurbing getting politician in trouble

  • His exegesis is not based on disregard for tradition, let alone ignorance of it.

    Balkinization

  • What you are practicing, airtightnoodle, is an interpretive fallacy known as exegesis, which is taking out of the passage what the text says in itself.

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  • All this proceeds upon an exegesis, which is, I believe, demonstrably erroneous.

    The Parables of Our Lord

  • The modern clergyman has acquired in his study of the science which I believe is called exegesis an astonishing facility for explaining things away, but the subtlety with which the Rev. Robert Strickland has

    Moon and Sixpence

  • Usage has restricted the meaning of hermeneutics to the science of Biblical exegesis, that is, to the collection of rules which govern the right interpretation of Sacred

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • But the two great sources upon which Rashi drew for his exegesis were the Talmudic and the Midrashic literature, with their two methods of interpreting the Scriptures.

    Rashi

  • First, the obligatory name exegesis: it's pronounced "chee-kee-toe," meaning "little" in Euskara, the Basque language.

    The New Yorker

  • Its editors might boil down a 5,000-word exegesis on the growing Soviet missile threat to 1,500 words, and pack two dozen or more such featurettes between the pages of a magazine that looked like a dime-store novel.

    Redskins Insider Podcast -- The Washington Post

Comments

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  • "In mathematics, in the language of Vieta and other early algebraists, the numerical or geometrical solution of an equation." --Cent. Dict.

    August 12, 2012

  • Clement (c. 150-216) had run a school in Alexandria but was forced to leave. After a gap of some years, his school was reopened by Origen (c. 185-254), teaching pagan subject (rhetoric, geometry, astronomy, philosophy) alongside Hebrew. He produced many books, two of which were the first work of Christian exegesis, known as the "Hexapla" and the 'earliest systematic presentation of Christian theology', "The Principles of Things." Origen's most famous innovation was that everthing in the Bible has three meanings - the literal, the moral, and the allegorical and only the last of these is the revealed truth.

    from "Ideas" by Peter Watson, p229-230.

    May 10, 2009

  • "critical explanation or interpretation of a text"
    -OED

    November 13, 2008