[ noun ik-ses, ek-ses; adjective, verb ek-ses, ik-ses ]
See synonyms for: excessexcessedexcessesexcessing on Thesaurus.com

  1. the fact of 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.

  1. an extreme or excessive amount or degree; superabundance: to have an excess of energy.

  2. a going beyond what is regarded as customary or proper: to talk to excess.

  3. 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.

Origin of excess

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”; see exceed

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use excess in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for excess


noun(ɪkˈsɛs, ˈɛksɛs)
  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

  1. the amount, number, extent, or degree by which one thing exceeds another

  2. chem a quantity of a reagent that is greater than the quantity required to complete a reaction: add an excess of acid

  3. overindulgence or intemperance

  4. insurance, mainly British a specified contribution towards the cost of a claim, stipulated on certain insurance policies as being payable by the policyholder

  5. in excess of of more than; over

  6. to excess to an inordinate extent; immoderately: he drinks to excess

adjective(ˈɛksɛs, ɪkˈsɛs) (usually prenominal)
  1. more than normal, necessary, or permitted; surplus: excess weight

  2. payable as a result of previous underpayment: excess postage; an excess fare for a railway journey

Origin of 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

Other 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.