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Word of the Day
Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Definitions for excursus

  1. A dissertation that is appended to a work and that contains a more extended exposition of some important point or topic.
  2. A digression.

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Citations for excursus
And the eels not only have a role in the narrator's story . . . but receive a 12-page excursus on their genesis and (as it were) life style. William H. Pritchard, New York Times
Sometimes, however, Mr. Honan's historical digressions wander far away from Jane Austen's concerns. An excursus on George III's insanity has precious little to do with "Pride and Prejudice," the subject nominally under discussion. Peter Conrad, New York Times
Origin of excursus
1795-1805
Excursus comes from the past participle of Latin excurrere, "to run out," from ex-, "out" + currere, "to run."