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[ik-skres-uh ns] /ɪkˈskrɛs əns/
an abnormal outgrowth, usually harmless, on an animal or vegetable body.
a normal outgrowth, as hair or horns.
any disfiguring addition.
abnormal growth or increase.
Origin of excrescence
late Middle English
First recorded in 1375-1425; late Middle English word from Latin word excrēscentia. See excrescent, -ence
Related forms
superexcrescence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for excrescence
Historical Examples
  • There is also a ninth tower, which looks like an excrescence, in the rear.

    Fred Markham in Russia W. H. G. Kingston
  • The art is not an accomplishment, an ornament, an excrescence.

    Appearances Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
  • We alighted almost in front of a quaint building which looked like an excrescence—a wart—on the visage of a dilapidated chapel.

    Love's Usuries Louis Creswicke
  • Sir, that paragraph is an excrescence on the tree of our liberty.

    Slavery Ordained of God Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
  • Carun-cle, an excrescence or protuberance near the hilum of a seed.

    Seeds of Michigan Weeds W. J. (William James) Beal
  • If one of them be perfect by itself, the other will be an excrescence.

  • In this species the casque or excrescence on the upper mandible is very slight.

  • It is an excrescence, not an essential garment like the shirt and breeches.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • It is the "swollen imposthume" of refinement, an excrescence on culture, a penalty of which we have suffered enough.

  • Eryri likewise signifies an excrescence or scrofulous eruption.

    Wild Wales George Borrow
British Dictionary definitions for excrescence


a projection or protuberance, esp an outgrowth from an organ or part of the body
Derived Forms
excrescential (ˌɛkskrɪˈsɛnʃəl) adjective
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 excrescence

early 15c., "action of growing out," from Latin excrescentia (plural) "abnormal growths," from excrescentem (nominative excrescens), present participle of excrescere "grow out, grow up," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + crescere "to grow" (see crescent). Meaning "that which grows out abnormally (on a living thing) is from 1570s (excrescency in this sense is 1540s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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excrescence in Medicine

excrescence ex·cres·cence (ĭk-skrěs'əns)
An outgrowth from a surface that may be normal, such as a fingernail, or abnormal, such as a wart.

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