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verb (used with object)
  1. to go beyond in quantity, degree, rate, etc.: to exceed the speed limit.
  2. to go beyond the bounds or limits of: to exceed one's understanding.
  3. to surpass; be superior to; excel: Her performance exceeded all the others.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to be greater, as in quantity or degree.
  2. to surpass others; excel or be superior.
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Origin of exceed

1325–75; Middle English exceden < Latin excēdere to go out or beyond. See ex-1, cede
Related formsex·ceed·a·ble, adjectiveex·ceed·er, nounsu·per·ex·ceed, verb (used without object)un·ex·ceed·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·ceed·ed, adjective
Can be confusedaccede concede exceed


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for exceed


  1. to be superior to (a person or thing), esp in size or quality; excel
  2. (tr) to go beyond the limit or bounds ofto exceed one's income; exceed a speed limit
  3. to be greater in degree or quantity than (a person or thing)
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Derived Formsexceedable, adjectiveexceeder, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin excēdere to go beyond, from cēdere to go
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 exceed


late 14c., from Old French exceder (14c.) "exceed, surpass, go too far," from Latin excedere "depart, go beyond, be in excess, surpass," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + cedere "go, yield" (see cede).

Related: Exceeded; exceeding. Exceedingly (late 15c.) means "very greatly or very much;" excessively (mid-15c.) means "too greatly or too much."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper