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[ik-sept] /ɪkˈsɛpt/
with the exclusion of; excluding; save; but:
They were all there except me.
only; with the exception (usually followed by that):
parallel cases except that one is younger than the other.
otherwise than; but (followed by an adv., phrase, or clause):
well fortified except here.
Archaic. unless.
except for, if it were not for:
She would travel more except for lack of money.
Origin of except1
1350-1400; Middle English: orig., past participle adj. < Latin exceptus (past participle of excipere to take out), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -ceptus (combining form of captus, past participle of capere to take)
1. Except (more rarely excepting ), but, save point out something excluded from a general statement. Except emphasizes the excluding: Take any number except 12. But merely states the exclusion: We ate all but one. Save is now mainly found in poetic use: nothing in sight save sky and sea.


[ik-sept] /ɪkˈsɛpt/
verb (used with object)
to exclude; leave out:
present company excepted.
verb (used without object)
to object (usually followed by to or against):
to except to a statement; to except against a witness.
1350-1400; Middle English excepten < Middle French excepter < Latin exceptāre, derivative of exceptus (see except1)
Related forms
exceptable, adjective
nonexcepted, adjective
unexceptable, adjective
unexcepted, adjective
Usage note
See accept. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for except
  • He is not allowed to see people, except his family, and cannot leave home except in an emergency.
  • In cooler regions, you can grow them outdoors anytime except winter at which time you can grow them inside in bright light.
  • Never have seen him again except in this iconic picture.
  • It's empty, except for large electrical cables snaking along the floor.
  • except for the time they turned out to be mashed turnips.
  • All except for one small keyboard instrument on display.
  • except, that is, for bringing meaning to things nobody can even see.
  • Nothing prevents me from being a writer except laziness.
  • The abbreviations etc and jr are always preceded by a comma, and except at the end of a sentence, followed by one.
  • We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight.
British Dictionary definitions for except


Also except for. other than; apart from; with the exception of: he likes everyone except you, except for this mistake, you did very well
(conjunction) except that, but for the fact that; were it not true that
an archaic word for unless
(informal) except that; but for the fact that: I would have arrived earlier, except I lost my way
(transitive) to leave out; omit; exclude
(rare) (intransitive) often foll by to. to take exception; object
Word Origin
C14: from Old French excepter to leave out, from Latin exceptāre, from excipere to take out, from capere to take
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 except

late 14c., "to receive," from Middle French excepter (12c.), from Latin exceptus, past participle of excipere "take out," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + capere "to take" (see capable). Meaning "to leave out" is from 1510s. Related: Excepted; excepting. Adjectival function led to use as a preposition, conjunction (late 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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