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excelsior

[ik-sel-see-er, ek-] /ɪkˈsɛl si ər, ɛk-/
noun
1.
fine wood shavings, used for stuffing, packing, etc.
2.
Printing. a 3-point type: a size smaller than brilliant.
Origin
1770-1780
1770-80, Americanism; formerly a trademark

excelsior

[ek-sel-si-ohr; English ik-sel-see-awr, ek-] /ɛkˈsɛl sɪˌoʊr; English ɪkˈsɛl siˌɔr, ɛk-/
adjective, Latin.
1.
ever upward: motto of New York State.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for excelsior

excelsior

/ɪkˈsɛlsɪˌɔː/
interjection, adverb, noun
1.
excellent: used as a motto and as a trademark for various products, esp in the US for fine wood shavings used for packing breakable objects
2.
upwards
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: higher
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for excelsior

Latin excelsior "higher," comp. of excelsus (adj.) "high, elevated, lofty," past participle of excellere (see excel), taken 1778 as motto of New York State, where it apparently was mistaken for an adverb. Popularized 1841 as title of a poem by Longfellow. As a trade name for "thin shavings of soft wood used for stuffing cushions, etc.," first recorded 1868, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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