• synonyms


[ik-skres-uh ns]
See more synonyms for excrescence on Thesaurus.com
  1. an abnormal outgrowth, usually harmless, on an animal or vegetable body.
  2. a normal outgrowth, as hair or horns.
  3. any disfiguring addition.
  4. abnormal growth or increase.
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Origin of excrescence

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English word from Latin word excrēscentia. See excrescent, -ence
Related formssu·per·ex·cres·cence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for excrescence

Historical Examples

  • Sir, that paragraph is an excrescence on the tree of our liberty.

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • If one of them be perfect by itself, the other will be an excrescence.

  • It is an excrescence, not an essential garment like the shirt and breeches.

  • The art is not an accomplishment, an ornament, an excrescence.


    Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

  • In this species the casque or excrescence on the upper mandible is very slight.

British Dictionary definitions for excrescence


  1. a projection or protuberance, esp an outgrowth from an organ or part of the body
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Derived Formsexcrescential (ˌɛkskrɪˈsɛnʃəl), adjective
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 excrescence


early 15c., "action of growing out," from Latin excrescentia (plural) "abnormal growths," from excrescentem (nominative excrescens), present participle of excrescere "grow out, grow up," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + crescere "to grow" (see crescent). Meaning "that which grows out abnormally (on a living thing) is from 1570s (excrescency in this sense is 1540s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

excrescence in Medicine


  1. An outgrowth from a surface that may be normal, such as a fingernail, or abnormal, such as a wart.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.