- fine wood shavings, used for stuffing, packing, etc.
- Printing. a 3-point type: a size smaller than brilliant.
Origin of excelsior1
- ever upward: motto of New York State.
Examples from the Web for excelsior
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, and outside of it, on 40 acres of half-hearted farmland outside of Excelsior, Minnesota.Charles Baxter: How I Write
August 7, 2013
I heard her reciting Longfellow's Excelsior; and such reading, and such gestures!The Universal Reciter
That mine was the Excelsior, and it's just as productive to-day as it ever was.Cy Whittaker's Place
Joseph C. Lincoln
Remove all excelsior and the other packing material from the top of the cells.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
Wrap the skull muscles on with excelsior rolled in palms of hands.Taxidermy
Leon Luther Pray
It's in some boxes and barrels that contain straw and excelsior.The Rover Boys on Snowshoe Island
- 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
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.