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[ik-ses-iv] /ɪkˈsɛs ɪv/
going beyond the usual, necessary, or proper limit or degree; characterized by excess:
excessive charges; excessive criticism.
Origin of excessive
1350-1400; Middle English (see excess, -ive); replacing Middle English excessif < Middle French
Related forms
excessively, adverb
excessiveness, noun
nonexcessive, adjective
nonexcessively, adverb
nonexcessiveness, noun
quasi-excessive, adjective
quasi-excessively, adverb
unexcessive, adjective
unexcessively, adverb
immoderate, extravagant, inordinate, exorbitant, unreasonable.
reasonable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for excessive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This disease is caused by an excessive determination of blood to the head.

    Sheep, Swine, and Poultry Robert Jennings
  • There is some truth in his compliments, no doubt; but they are wasteful, excessive, imprudent.

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • His three remaining teeth were ebon from excessive betel-chewing.

    The Argus Pheasant John Charles Beecham
  • His excessive use of tobacco was one thing he knew she could not tolerate.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • Was it emotion, or excessive fatigue after her protracted efforts?

    The Tremendous Event Maurice Leblanc
British Dictionary definitions for excessive


exceeding the normal or permitted extents or limits; immoderate; inordinate
Derived Forms
excessively, adverb
excessiveness, noun
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 excessive

late 14c., from Old French excessif "excessive, oppressive," from Latin excess-, past participle stem of excedere "to depart, go beyond" (see exceed). Related: Excessively; excessiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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