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excel

[ik-sel]
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verb (used without object), ex·celled, ex·cel·ling.
  1. to surpass others or be superior in some respect or area; do extremely well: to excel in math.
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verb (used with object), ex·celled, ex·cel·ling.
  1. to surpass; be superior to; outdo: He excels all other poets of his day.
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Origin of excel

1400–50; late Middle English excellen < Latin excellere, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -cellere to rise high, tower (akin to celsus high)
Related formsun·ex·celled, adjectiveun·ex·cel·ling, adjective

Synonyms

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

Related Words

shinetranscendoutdoexceedcapbeattopwaxeclipsebetteroutshineoutstrippasssurmountbestpredominateoutrival

Examples from the Web for excelled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There he plied his tasks so diligently that he excelled all in book-learning.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • He knew how to praise—a difficult art, but he excelled in it.

  • Taine excelled in praise of her intellectual vigour and productivity.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • He was a weakling, and had no love of boyish sports; but he excelled in scholarship.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • The masterly handling of color in this picture has rarely been excelled.

    Aztec Land

    Maturin M. Ballou


British Dictionary definitions for excelled

excel

verb -cels, -celling or -celled
  1. to be superior to (another or others); surpass
  2. (intr; foll by in or at) to be outstandingly good or proficienthe excels at tennis
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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

Word Origin and History for excelled

excel

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper