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[ik-sel] /ɪkˈsɛl/
verb (used without object), excelled, excelling.
to surpass others or be superior in some respect or area; do extremely well:
to excel in math.
verb (used with object), excelled, excelling.
to surpass; be superior to; outdo:
He excels all other poets of his day.
Origin of excel
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English excellen < Latin excellere, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -cellere to rise high, tower (akin to celsus high)
Related forms
unexcelled, adjective
unexcelling, adjective
2. outstrip, eclipse, transcend, exceed, top, beat. Excel, outdo, surpass imply being better than others or being superior in achievement. To excel is to be superior in some quality, attainment, or performance: to excel opponents at playing chess. To outdo is to make more successful effort than others: to outdo competitors in the high jump. To surpass is to go beyond others, especially in a contest as to quality or ability: to surpass one's classmates in knowledge of corporation law. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unexcelled
Historical Examples
  • It is a very fine market pecan, unexcelled in richness of flavor, and has a thin shell.

    The Pecan and its Culture H. Harold Hume
  • Watterson was also the cook, and in both capacities was unexcelled.

  • Van Hoesen, as a Hawaiian dancer, was unexcelled in his gyrations.

    Battery E in France Frederic R. Kilner
  • In attending to his own business and never meddling with others, he is unexcelled.

    Little Brothers of the Air Olive Thorne Miller
  • Judged either historically or theoretically, the strategy of Napoleon is original, unique, and unexcelled.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • But I think my death scene is unexcelled By any in cold print.

  • The sphere in which he operates has no duplicate in military activities; his bravery, boldness, and daring are unexcelled.

    Is the Devil a Myth? C. F. Wimberly
  • Considered as a whole, it is unexcelled mountain architecture.

    Your National Parks Enos A. Mills
  • The very day after my arrival I visited the famous Dresden gallery, unexcelled in the world.

    The Memoirs of Madame Vige Lebrun Marie Louise Elisabeth Vige-Lebrun
  • The Swedish university courses are of unexcelled thoroughness and completeness.

    Sweden Victor Nilsson
British Dictionary definitions for unexcelled


verb -cels, -celling, -celled
to be superior to (another or others); surpass
(intransitive; foll by in or at) to be outstandingly good or proficient: he excels at tennis
Word Origin
C15: from Latin excellere to rise up
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 unexcelled



c.1400, from Latin excellere "to rise, surpass, be eminent," from ex- "out from" (see ex-) + -cellere "rise high, tower," related to celsus "high, lofty, great," from PIE root *kel- "to rise, be elevated" (see hill). Related: Excelled; excelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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