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From Middle English exces (excess, ecstasy), from Old French exces, from Latin excessus (a going out, loss of self-possession), from excedere, excessum (to go out, go beyond). See exceed.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɛksɛs/, /ɪkˈsɛs/, /ɛkˈsɛs/, /əkˈsɛs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛs


excess (countable and uncountable, plural excesses)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:
  1. The state of surpassing or going beyond a limit; the state of being beyond sufficiency, necessity, or duty; more than what is usual or proper.
    The excess of heavy water was given away to the neighbouring country.
    • c. 1596 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii]:
      To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
      To throw a perfume on the violet, []
      Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
    • c. 1690, William Walsh, "Jealosy", in The Poetical Works of William Walsh (1797), page 19 (Google preview):
      That kills me with excess of grief, this with excess of joy.
    • 2020 July 29, Paul Stephen, “A new collaboration centred on New Street”, in Rail, page 54:
      [...] after the original Victorian station was demolished and then entombed in concrete in the 1960s, Birmingham New Street became a byword for the worst excesses of the much-loathed Brutalist architecture so widely used to reconstruct inner-city post-war Britain.
  2. The degree or amount by which one thing or number exceeds another; remainder.
    The difference between two numbers is the excess of one over the other.
  3. An act of eating or drinking more than enough.
  4. (geometry) Spherical excess, the amount by which the sum of the three angles of a spherical triangle exceeds two right angles. The spherical excess is proportional to the area of the triangle.
  5. (British, insurance) A condition on an insurance policy by which the insured pays for a part of the claim.



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excess (not comparable)

  1. More than is normal, necessary or specified.

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excess (third-person singular simple present excesses, present participle excessing, simple past and past participle excessed)

  1. (US, transitive) To declare (an employee) surplus to requirements, such that he or she might not be given work.
    • 2008 May 3, “When New York Teachers Don’t Teach”, in New York Times[1]:
      In 2006, I was excessed because my program had to make a few cuts and a new, inexperienced supervisor decided that he couldn’t handle a knowledgeable older teacher so he removed me.


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