View synonyms for except



[ ik-sept ]


  1. with the exclusion of; excluding; save; but:

    They were all there except me.


  1. only; with the exception (usually followed by that ):

    parallel cases except that one is younger than the other.

  2. otherwise than; but (followed by an adv., phrase, or clause):

    well fortified except here.

  3. Archaic. unless.



[ ik-sept ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to exclude from or leave out of a particular category:

    Surveys that are used exclusively for certain educational purposes are excepted from these requirements.

verb (used without object)

  1. to object (usually followed by to or against ):

    to except to a statement;

    to except against a witness.


/ ɪkˈsɛpt /


  1. Alsoexcept for other than; apart from; with the exception of

    he likes everyone except you

    except for this mistake, you did very well

  2. except that
    conjunction but for the fact that; were it not true that


  1. an archaic word for unless
  2. informal.
    except that; but for the fact that

    I would have arrived earlier, except I lost my way


  1. tr to leave out; omit; exclude
  2. rare.
    introften foll byto to take exception; object
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Confusables Note

See accept.
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Other Words From

  • ex·cept·a·ble adjective
  • un·ex·cept·a·ble adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of except1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English: originally, past participle, from Latin exceptus (past participle of excipere “to take out”), equivalent to ex- + -ceptus (combining form of captus, past participle of capere “to take”); ex- 1

Origin of except2

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English excepten, from Middle French excepter, from Latin exceptāre, derivative of exceptus ( except 1 )
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Word History and Origins

Origin of except1

C14: from Old French excepter to leave out, from Latin exceptāre, from excipere to take out, from capere to take
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. except for, if it were not for:

    She would travel more except for lack of money.

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Synonym Study

Except (more rarely excepting ), but, save point out something excluded from a general statement. Except emphasizes the excluding: Take any number except 12. But merely states the exclusion: We ate all but one. Save is now mainly found in poetic use: nothing in sight save sky and sea.
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Example Sentences

Except the Braves did not win 14 straight pennants (they did win 14 straight division titles), and Smoltz is a also Republican.

I always wanted to have a career like his—except for the stopping work thing.

In fact, Mexico buys and sells more US goods than any other country on the planet except for Canada.

Except, Nomadness currently has 3,000 pending membership requests.

Author J.K. Rowling says all religions are present at her beloved wizard school—except Wiccans.

In fact, except for Ramona's help, it would have been a question whether even Alessandro could have made Baba work in harness.

I haven't much time for seeing any one, except my patients, and the people I meet in society.

The patriarchal decree of the government was a good deal of a joke on the plains, anyway—except when you were caught defying it!

The camp grew still, except for the rough and ready cook pottering about the fire, boiling buffalo-meat and mixing biscuit-dough.

Who he could not make out, except that it was a Kirton: and it prayed him to hasten down immediately.


Related Words

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Except Vs. Accept

What’s the difference between except and accept?

Except is most commonly used as a preposition meaning excluding or but, as in Everyone was invited except me, or as a conjunction meaning but for the fact that, as in I would have called, except I lost my phone. Accept is a common word with many meanings, most of which involve receiving something, taking something on, or putting up with something.

Accept is always a verb. Except can also be used as a verb meaning to exclude, as in the common phrase present company excepted, but its verb use is much less common.

To remember the difference in the spelling between accept and except, remember that except shares the prefix ex- with exclude, which is fitting since except is commonly used in situations in which someone or something has been excluded.

Accept, on the other hand, is often used in situations in which something is acquired.

Here’s an example of except and accept used correctly in the same sentence.

Example: I usually accept your excuses, except this time I know they’re not true.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between except and accept.

Quiz yourself on except vs. accept!

Should except or accept be used in the following sentence?

The cake was great _____ for the icing, which was a little too sweet.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




Excelsior Springsexcepted