verb (used without object), excelled, excelling.
to surpass others or be superior in some respect or area; do extremely well: to excel in math.
verb (used with object), excelled, excelling.
to surpass; be superior to; outdo: He excels all other poets of his day.

1400–50; late Middle English excellen < Latin excellere, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -cellere to rise high, tower (akin to celsus high)

unexcelled, adjective
unexcelling, adjective

2. outstrip, eclipse, transcend, exceed, top, beat. Excel, outdo, surpass imply being better than others or being superior in achievement. To excel is to be superior in some quality, attainment, or performance: to excel opponents at playing chess. To outdo is to make more successful effort than others: to outdo competitors in the high jump. To surpass is to go beyond others, especially in a contest as to quality or ability: to surpass one's classmates in knowledge of corporation law.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
excel (ɪkˈsɛl)
vb , -cels, -celling, -celled
1.  to be superior to (another or others); surpass
2.  (intr; foll by in or at) to be outstandingly good or proficient: he excels at tennis
[C15: from Latin excellere to rise up]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1400, from L. excellere "to rise, surpass, be eminent," from ex- "out from" + -cellere "rise high, tower," related to celsus "high, lofty, great," from PIE base *kel-/*kol- "to rise, be elevated" (see hill). Related: Excelled; excelling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
He has placed the future of his students above his own gains with an
  understanding that if these kids excels he has excelled.
It needs to work out the details and this is what science excels at.
Not particularly warm on it's own in colder temperatures, but excels in aerobic
But it excels at feeding people well, and that's nothing to take for granted.
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