• synonyms


[ik-skres-uh nt]
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  1. growing abnormally out of something else; superfluous.
  2. Phonetics. (of a speech sound) inserted or added as a result of articulatory interaction or impetus, as the t-sound in sense (sents) or against (from Middle English ageynes), without grammatical or historical justification; intrusive; parasitic.
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Origin of excrescent

1600–10; < Latin excrēscent- (stem of excrēscēns), present participle of excrēscere to grow out. See ex-1, crescent
Related formsex·cres·cent·ly, adverbsu·per·ex·cres·cent, adjectivesu·per·ex·cres·cent·ly, adverbun·ex·cres·cent, adjectiveun·ex·cres·cent·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for excrescent

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for excrescent


  1. denoting, relating to, or resembling an abnormal outgrowth
  2. uselessly added; not essential; superfluous
  3. denoting or relating to a speech sound or letter inserted into a word without etymological justification, such as the b in nimble
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Derived Formsexcrescently, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from Latin excrēscēns, from excrēscere, from crēscere to grow
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 excrescent


mid-15c., from Latin excrescentem (nominative excrescens), present participle of excrescere (see excrescence).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

excrescent in Medicine


  1. Growing out abnormally, excessively, or superfluously.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.