[ ik-sept ]
/ ɪkˈsɛpt /
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See synonyms for: except / excepted / excepting on Thesaurus.com

with the exclusion of; excluding; save; but: They were all there except me.
only; with the exception (usually followed by that): parallel cases except that one is younger than the other.
otherwise than; but (followed by an adv., phrase, or clause): well fortified except here.
Archaic. unless.


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Which sentence is correct?

Idioms about except

    except for, if it were not for: She would travel more except for lack of money.

Origin of except

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”); see origin at ex-1

synonym study for except

1. 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.

Other definitions for except (2 of 2)

[ ik-sept ]
/ ɪkˈsɛpt /

verb (used with object)
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)
to object (usually followed by to or against): to except to a statement;to except against a witness.

Origin of except

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English excepten, from Middle French excepter, from Latin exceptāre, derivative of exceptus (see except1)

words often confused with except

See accept.


ex·cept·a·ble, adjectiveun·ex·cept·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


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.

How to use except in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for except

/ (ɪkˈsɛpt) /

Also: except for other than; apart from; with the exception ofhe likes everyone except you; except for this mistake, you did very well
except that (conjunction) but for the fact that; were it not true that
an archaic word for unless
informal except that; but for the fact thatI would have arrived earlier, except I lost my way
(tr) to leave out; omit; exclude
(intr often foll by to) rare to take exception; object

Word Origin for except

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