[ ik-sel ]
See synonyms for: excelexcelledexcellingexcels on Thesaurus.com

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.

verb (used with object),ex·celled, ex·cel·ling.
  1. to surpass; be superior to; outdo: He excels all other poets of his day.

Origin of excel

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English, from Middle French exceller, from Latin excellere, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -cellere “to rise high, tower” (akin to celsus “high”)

synonym study For excel

2. 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.

Other words for excel

Other words from excel

  • un·ex·celled, adjective
  • un·ex·cel·ling, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use excel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for excel


/ (ɪkˈsɛl) /

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 proficient: he excels at tennis

Origin of excel

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