An exponent is a number or expression written above a number, indicating that it is being multiplied by itself. The notation is made up of a base – the number being multiplied – and an exponent, which gives the number of times the base appears in the multiplication.

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The resulting number is commonly called a power. In this example, there are 44 instances of the base 77 in the multiplication being expressed. 74=77774\begin{gathered} \Large{7^4 = \underbrace{7 \cdot 7 \cdot 7 \cdot 7}_4} \end{gathered} Most exponential expressions are read in mostly the same ways, whether they are numeric or algebraic.

Expression Example 11 Example 22
747^4 77 raised to the power of 44 77 raised to the fourth power
x9x^9 xx to the power of 99 xx to the ninth power
222^{2} 22 to the second 22 squared
m3m^{3} mm to the third mm cubed

Notice in the examples above that two special cases were included; when a number or variable is raised to the power of 22 or 3,3, the exponential expression can be read as squared or cubed, respectively.

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