except

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French excepter, from Latin exceptus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

except (third-person singular simple present excepts, present participle excepting, simple past and past participle excepted)

  1. (transitive) To exclude; to specify as being an exception.
    • 2007, Glen Bowersock, ‘Provocateur’, London Review of Books 29:4, page 17:
      But this [ban on circumcision] must have been a provocation, as the emperor Antoninus Pius later acknowledged by excepting the Jews.
  2. (intransitive) To take exception, to object (to or against).
    to except to a witness or his testimony
    • Shakespeare
      Except thou wilt except against my love.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, vol.1, New York Review Books 2001, page 312:
      Yea, but methinks I hear some man except at these words […].
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, Urne-Burial, Penguin 2005, page 23:
      The Athenians might fairly except against the practise of Democritus to be buried up in honey; as fearing to embezzle a great commodity of their Countrey
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, page 96:
      he was a great lover of music, and perhaps, had he lived in town, might have passed for a connoisseur; for he always excepted against the finest compositions of Mr Handel.

Translations[edit]

Preposition[edit]

except

  1. With the exception of; but.
    There was nothing in the cupboard except a tin of beans.
    • 2014 June 14, “It's a gas”, The Economist, volume 411, number 8891: 
      One of the hidden glories of Victorian engineering is proper drains. Isolating a city’s effluent and shipping it away in underground sewers has probably saved more lives than any medical procedure except vaccination.

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Translations[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

except

  1. With the exception (that); used to introduce a clause, phrase or adverb forming an exception or qualification to something previously stated.
    You look a bit like my sister, except she has longer hair.
    I never made fun of her except teasingly.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 2, A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      Mother [] considered that the exclusiveness of Peter's circle was due not to its distinction, but to the fact that it was an inner Babylon of prodigality and whoredom, from which every Kensingtonian held aloof, except on the conventional tip-and-run excursions in pursuit of shopping, tea and theatres.
  2. (archaic) Unless; used to introduce a hypothetical case in which an exception may exist.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Luke IX:
      And they sayde: We have no moo but five loves and two fisshes, except we shulde goo and bye meate for all this people.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York 2001, page 106:
      Offensive wars, except the cause be very just, I will not allow of.

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