From Middle English, early 15th century, in sense “(action of) growing out (of something else)”. Borrowed from Latin excrescentia (“abnormal growths”), from excrescentem, from excrēscere, from ex- (“out”) (English ex-) + crēscere (“to grow”) (English crescent). Sense of “abnormal growth” from 1570s, from earlier excrescency (1540s in this sense).
excrescence (plural excrescences)
- Something, usually abnormal, which grows out of something else.
- 1847 October 16, Currer Bell [pseudonym; Charlotte Brontë], chapter VII, in Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. […], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: Smith, Elder, and Co., […], OCLC 3163777:
- I have again and again intimated that I desire the hair to be arranged closely, modestly, plainly. Miss Temple, that girl’s hair must be cut off entirely; I will send a barber to-morrow: and I see others who have far too much of the excrescence—that tall girl, tell her to turn round.
- 1903 July, Jack London, “The Sounding of the Call”, in The Call of the Wild, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., OCLC 28228581, page 219:
- The squirrels were in hiding. One only he saw,—a sleek gray fellow, flattened against a gray dead limb so that he seemed a part of it, a woody excrescence upon the wood itself.
- 1907 April, E[dward] M[organ] Forster, chapter XXXIII, in The Longest Journey, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, OCLC 10135504, part III (Wiltshire), page 336:
- Perhaps he meant that towns are after all excrescences, grey fluxions, where men, hurrying to find one another, have lost themselves.
- 1933 January 9, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter XXXI, in Down and Out in Paris and London, London: Victor Gollancz […], OCLC 2603818, page 234:
- It is taken for granted that a beggar does not 'earn' his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic 'earns' his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable.
- A disfiguring or unwanted mark or adjunct.
- (phonetics) The epenthesis of a consonant, e.g., warmth as [ˈwɔrmpθ] (adding a [p] between [m] and [θ]), or -t (Etymology 2).
- (phonetic): linking consonant
- (phonetic): intervocalic