View synonyms for exception


[ ik-sep-shuhn ]


  1. the act of excepting or the fact of being excepted.
  2. something excepted; an instance or case not conforming to the general rule.
  3. an adverse criticism, especially on a particular point; opposition of opinion; objection; demurral:

    a statement liable to exception.

  4. Law.
    1. an objection, as to a ruling of the court in the course of a trial.
    2. a notation that an objection is preserved for purposes of appeal:

      saving an exception.


/ ɪkˈsɛpʃən /


  1. the act of excepting or fact of being excepted; omission
  2. anything excluded from or not in conformance with a general rule, principle, class, etc
  3. criticism, esp when it is adverse; objection
  4. law (formerly) a formal objection in the course of legal proceedings
  5. law a clause or term in a document that restricts the usual legal effect of the document
  6. take exception
    1. usually foll by to to make objections (to); demur (at)
    2. often foll by at to be offended (by); be resentful (at)
“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

Discover More

Other Words From

  • ex·ception·less adjective
  • preex·ception noun
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of exception1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English excepcioun, from Latin exceptiōn-, stem of exceptiō; equivalent to except 1 + -ion
Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. take exception,
    1. to make an objection; demur:

      They took exception to several points in the contract.

    2. to take offense:

      She took exception to what I said about her brother.

More idioms and phrases containing exception

  • except for (with the exception of)
  • make an exception
  • take exception to
Discover More

Example Sentences

The pandemic has shaken up plans for everyone, and weddings are no exception.

From Fortune

There are exceptions, of course, and Wade cited the Minnesota Lynx as a team that “really gets up in your grill.”

Disasters always tend to hit the most vulnerable among us hardest, and the pandemic is no exception.

A notable exception was Wisconsin, where 75 percent of votes were cast absentee despite nothing being mailed to them.

Although the SARS-CoV-2 virus is most often fatal in patients who are elderly or have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, exceptions that bring down apparently healthy young people are commonplace.

The same Pediatrics journal notes that 17 states have some form of exception to the standard parental consent requirement.

With the exception of New Hampshire, Paul has not demonstrated potential enthusiasm in the early primary states.

None of her last five movies (with the exception of an Ice Age sequel she voiced) has grossed more than $50 million.

No crimes were committed by Sony with the possible exception of all those Adam Sandler movies they insist on making.

Mary Soames is an exception to the rule that gilded offspring endure life rather than enjoy it.

Dean Swift was indeed a misanthrope by theory, however he may have made exception to private life.

The first steam rolling mill, with the exception of the one at Soho, was put up at Bradley ironworks.

All the banks in the city of New York without exception, and by common consent, stop specie payments.

In fact, Monte Irvin had made a success of every affair in life with the lamentable exception of his marriage.

The cereals and grasses form an exception to this rule, for in them it is an abundant and important element.


Related Words

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.