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  1. the letter X, x.


noun Informal.
  1. a former spouse or a former partner in a long-term romantic relationship; ex-wife, ex-husband, or ex-lover.

Origin of ex3

First recorded in 1820–30; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exes

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And the capital was too small altogether for a London show; the exes were awful!

    The Man Who Was Good

    Leonard Merrick

  • A mean-spirited little rascal, with no ideas beyond the price of a bill-stamp and overcharging what he called his 'exes.'

  • I sold the lot to old Pardy for a fiver and paid for my boots, deposit on shares and separator, and exes.

British Dictionary definitions for exes


  1. finance not participating in; excluding; withoutex bonus; ex dividend; ex rights
  2. commerce without charge to the buyer until removed fromex quay; ex ship; ex works

Word Origin

C19: from Latin: out of, from


  1. informal (a person's) former wife, husband, etc
  2. Canadian short for examination
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

Word Origin and History for exes



1827, originally short for ex-Catholic; ultimately from Latin ex (see ex-). Since 1929 as abbreviation for ex-wife, ex-husband, etc. Also used in some commercial senses for "from, out of."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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