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[ek-suh-luh n-see]
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noun, plural ex·cel·len·cies.
  1. (usually initial capital letter) Also Excellence. a title of honor given to certain high officials, as governors, ambassadors, and Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops (preceded by his, your, etc.).
  2. (usually initial capital letter) a person so entitled.
  3. (usually initial capital letter) the title of the governor general of Canada while in office.
  4. Usually excellencies. excellent qualities or features.
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Origin of excellency

1275–1325; Middle English excellencie < Latin excellentia. See excellent, -ency
Related formssu·per·ex·cel·len·cy, noun, plural su·per·ex·cel·len·cies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for excellency

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It has doubly convinced me of the excellency of your mind, and of the honour of your disposition.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I should like especially to mention him for His Excellency's consideration.

  • I tell you, Excellency, that the time will come in this land when those Commons will be king.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • "I see that you know his Excellency," remarked d'Aguilar drily.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • The window is securely fastened, your Excellency, unless he breaks the glass.

British Dictionary definitions for excellency



noun plural -lencies or -lences
  1. (usually preceded by Your, His, or Her) a title used to address or refer to a high-ranking official, such as an ambassador or governor
  2. RC Church a title of bishops and archbishops in many non-English-speaking countries
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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 excellency


"high rank," c.1200, from Latin excellentia (see excellence); as a title of honor it dates from early 14c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper