• synonyms


  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



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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for excellences

Historical Examples

  • But these excellences, though found in a hareem, will not fuse, as in a poem or a picture.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Suppose then, I said, that we determine how far they can unite this and the other excellences.

  • Each one extols with words and gestures the excellences of his boat.

    From Pole to Pole

    Sven Anders Hedin

  • It is not our intention to characterise his excellences as a composer.

  • All in vain, however, did he point out the excellences of his work.

    About Peggy Saville

    Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey

British Dictionary definitions for excellences


  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 excellences



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper