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See more synonyms for excellence on Thesaurus.com
  1. the fact or state of excelling; superiority; eminence: his excellence in mathematics.
  2. an excellent quality or feature: Use of herbs is one of the excellences of French cuisine.
  3. (usually initial capital letter) excellency(def 1).
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Origin of excellence

1350–1400; Middle English < Middle French < Latin excellentia. See excel, -ence
Related formssu·per·ex·cel·lence, noun


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

Examples from the Web for excellence

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It was an animate statue to the excellence of good, clean living.


    W. A. Fraser

  • I was surprised by the excellence of the hotel at which I was lodged.

  • His work in other kinds is of a very different order of excellence.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1

    Henry Fielding

  • But that is easily forgiven in consideration of the excellence of the matter.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

  • This excellence may be one of proportion or one of many other kinds.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore

British Dictionary definitions for excellence


  1. the state or quality of excelling or being exceptionally good; extreme merit; superiority
  2. an action, characteristic, feature, etc, in which a person excels
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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 excellence


mid-14c., from Old French excellence, from Latin excellentia, from excellentem (see excellent).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper