except

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed 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

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Preposition[edit]

except

  1. with the exception of; but.
    There was nothing in the cupboard except a tin of beans.
    Synonyms: apart from, except for, outtake, with the exception of
    • 2014 June 14, “It's a gas”, in 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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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.
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, published 1919, OCLC 491297620:
      "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. []."
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 2, in 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.

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