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What is the opposite of “exponential”?

What is the antonym of “exponential”?

The antonyms of exponential are linear, gradual, and steady. The antonyms convey a different rate or pattern of growth, change, or development.

Brief Definitions of the Antonym(s)

Learn when and how to use these words with these examples!

Following a straight line; having a constant rate or proportion.


The company's profits increased at a linear rate over the years.

Happening slowly or by degrees; taking place over a long period of time.


The city's population growth was gradual due to limited job opportunities.

Happening at a consistent rate or pace; not fluctuating or varying.


The company's revenue showed a steady increase over the years.

How are these antonyms different from each other?

  • 1Linear describes a constant rate or proportion, while exponential describes a rapid and increasing rate of growth.
  • 2Gradual describes a slow and steady rate of change, while exponential describes a sudden and significant increase.
  • 3Steady describes a consistent rate or pace, while exponential describes an accelerating rate of growth.

Good things to know

  • 1Mathematics: Use linear and exponential to describe different types of equations and functions.
  • 2Economics: Use gradual and steady to describe economic growth or inflation rates.
  • 3Science: Use exponential to describe the growth of bacteria, viruses, or other organisms.

Remember this!

The antonyms have distinct nuances: Linear describes a constant rate, gradual describes a slow and steady rate, and steady describes a consistent rate. In contrast, exponential describes a rapid and increasing rate of growth. Use these words in mathematics, economics, science, or any context that involves growth, change, or development.

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