[noun ik-ses, ek-ses; adjective, verb ek-ses, ik-ses]



more than or above what is necessary, usual, or specified; extra: a charge for excess baggage; excess profits.

verb (used with object)

to dismiss, demote, transfer, or furlough (an employee), especially as part of a mass layoff.

Origin of excess

1350–1400; Middle English (noun and adj.) < Latin excessus departure, digression, equivalent to exced-, variant stem of excēdere to exceed + -tus suffix of v. action
Can be confusedaccess assess excess

Synonyms for excess

Antonyms for excess

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for excess


noun (ɪkˈsɛs, ˈɛksɛs)

the state or act of going beyond normal, sufficient, or permitted limits
an immoderate or abnormal amount, number, extent, or degree too much or too manyan excess of tolerance
the amount, number, extent, or degree by which one thing exceeds another
chem a quantity of a reagent that is greater than the quantity required to complete a reactionadd an excess of acid
overindulgence or intemperance
insurance, mainly British a specified contribution towards the cost of a claim, stipulated on certain insurance policies as being payable by the policyholder
in excess of of more than; over
to excess to an inordinate extent; immoderatelyhe drinks to excess

adjective (ˈɛksɛs, ɪkˈsɛs) (usually prenominal)

more than normal, necessary, or permitted; surplusexcess weight
payable as a result of previous underpaymentexcess postage; an excess fare for a railway journey

Word Origin for excess

C14: from Latin excessus, from excēdere to go beyond; see exceed
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 excess

late 14c., from Old French exces (14c.) "excess, extravagance, outrage," from Latin excessus "departure, a going beyond the bounds of reason or beyond the subject," from stem of excedere "to depart, go beyond" (see exceed). As an adjective from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for excess


[ĭk-sĕs, ĕksĕs′]


An amount or quantity beyond what is normal or sufficient; a surplus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with excess


see carry too far (to excess); in excess of.

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