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[noun ik-ses, ek-ses; adjective, verb ek-ses, ik-ses] /noun ɪkˈsɛs, ˈɛk sɛs; adjective, verb ˈɛk sɛs, ɪkˈsɛs/
the fact of exceeding something else in amount or degree:
His strength is in excess of yours.
the amount or degree by which one thing exceeds another:
The bill showed an excess of several hundred dollars over the estimate.
an extreme or excessive amount or degree; superabundance:
to have an excess of energy.
a going beyond what is regarded as customary or proper:
to talk to excess.
immoderate indulgence; intemperance in eating, drinking, etc.
more than or above what is necessary, usual, or specified; extra:
a charge for excess baggage; excess profits.
verb (used with object)
to dismiss, demote, transfer, or furlough (an employee), especially as part of a mass layoff.
Origin of excess
1350-1400; Middle English (noun and adj.) < Latin excessus departure, digression, equivalent to exced-, variant stem of excēdere to exceed + -tus suffix of v. action
Can be confused
access, assess, excess.
3. surplus.
3. lack, deficiency. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for excesses
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Johnson, also, was gone, and the two strongest checks upon the excesses of Boswell were removed.

    James Boswell William Keith Leask
  • The principle of nationality has, in its exaggerations, led to excesses.

    Zionism and Anti-Semitism Max Simon Nordau
  • The prisoners were aided in their excesses by the enthusiasm of the fair sex.

  • At once gentle and brave, he never ceased to oppose the excesses of the Revolution.

    Zanoni Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • Lippi was a wild fellow and given to excesses of various kinds.

British Dictionary definitions for excesses


noun (ɪkˈsɛs; ˈɛksɛs)
the state or act of going beyond normal, sufficient, or permitted limits
an immoderate or abnormal amount, number, extent, or degree too much or too many: an excess of tolerance
the amount, number, extent, or degree by which one thing exceeds another
(chem) a quantity of a reagent that is greater than the quantity required to complete a reaction: add an excess of acid
overindulgence or intemperance
(insurance, mainly Brit) a specified contribution towards the cost of a claim, stipulated on certain insurance policies as being payable by the policyholder
in excess of, of more than; over
to excess, to an inordinate extent; immoderately: he drinks to excess
adjective (usually prenominal) (ˈɛksɛs; ɪkˈsɛs)
more than normal, necessary, or permitted; surplus: excess weight
payable as a result of previous underpayment: excess postage, an excess fare for a railway journey
Word Origin
C14: from Latin excessus, from excēdere to go beyond; see exceed
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 excesses



late 14c., from Old French exces (14c.) "excess, extravagance, outrage," from Latin excessus "departure, a going beyond the bounds of reason or beyond the subject," from stem of excedere "to depart, go beyond" (see exceed). As an adjective from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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excesses in Medicine

excess ex·cess (ĭk-sěs', ěk'sěs')
An amount or quantity beyond what is normal or sufficient; a surplus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Idioms and Phrases with excesses
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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