View synonyms for excess


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


  1. the fact of exceeding exceeding something else in amount or degree:

    His strength is in excess of yours.

  2. the amount or degree by which one thing exceeds another:

    The bill showed an excess of several hundred dollars over the estimate.

  3. an extreme or excessive amount or degree; superabundance:

    to have an excess of energy.

    Synonyms: surplus

    Antonyms: deficiency, lack

  4. a going beyond what is regarded as customary or proper:

    to talk to excess.

  5. immoderate indulgence; intemperance in eating, drinking, etc.


  1. more than or above what is necessary, usual, or specified; extra:

    a charge for excess baggage; excess profits.

verb (used with object)

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



  1. the state or act of going beyond normal, sufficient, or permitted limits
  2. an immoderate or abnormal amount, number, extent, or degree too much or too many

    an excess of tolerance

  3. the amount, number, extent, or degree by which one thing exceeds another
  4. chem a quantity of a reagent that is greater than the quantity required to complete a reaction

    add an excess of acid

  5. overindulgence or intemperance
  6. insurance a specified contribution towards the cost of a claim, stipulated on certain insurance policies as being payable by the policyholder
  7. in excess of
    in excess of of more than; over
  8. to excess
    to excess to an inordinate extent; immoderately

    he drinks to excess


  1. more than normal, necessary, or permitted; surplus

    excess weight

  2. payable as a result of previous underpayment

    an excess fare for a railway journey

    excess postage

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Word History and Origins

Origin of excess1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English (noun and adjective), from Latin excessus “departure, digression,” noun use of past participle of excēdere “to go out”; exceed

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Word History and Origins

Origin of excess1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

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

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Example Sentences

Let the excess liquid evaporate away by bringing the substance to a boil or a simmer until the desired consistency is reached.

Wyden seems to have been persuaded that the best way to contain the possible excesses of speech on the internet was the influence of market forces.

While these wake-up calls to our own waste are certainly effective, many of the artists seem more interested in using excess as a way of expressing reverence for nature.

When town officials and lawmakers try to walk back the excess, the unions hold their ground.

It’s a Super Bowl being conducted without its usual excesses.

Shake off any excess flour and gently place in the heated oil.

Fold over the edges and crimp, then trim any remaining excess.

Following the pre-recession excess of T-Pain and Akon, hip-hop was in search of greater authenticity.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report says they secured a contract with the CIA in 2006 valued “in excess of $180 million.”

By the way, killjoys, American charitable giving goes up by 42 percent during this season of crass materialistic greed and excess.

Victor was proud of his achievement, and went about recommending it and urging every one to partake of it to excess.

The authorization borne by him was very extraordinary and had a great excess of the ordinary warrants.

(d) Excess balances may, at the convenience of each federal reserve bank, remain deposited with the gold settlement fund.

To talk of an excess of labor, or an inability to employ it, in such a country as Ireland, is to insult the general understanding.

All applications, including therein any on which action may have been deferred because in excess of the aforesaid 10 per cent.


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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.




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