• synonyms


  1. the letter X, x.
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noun Informal.
  1. a former spouse or a former partner in a long-term romantic relationship; ex-wife, ex-husband, or ex-lover.
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Origin of ex3

First recorded in 1820–30; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exes

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And the capital was too small altogether for a London show; the exes were awful!

    The Man Who Was Good

    Leonard Merrick

  • A mean-spirited little rascal, with no ideas beyond the price of a bill-stamp and overcharging what he called his 'exes.'

  • I sold the lot to old Pardy for a fiver and paid for my boots, deposit on shares and separator, and exes.

    From Chart House to Bush Hut

    Charles W. L. Bryde

British Dictionary definitions for exes


  1. finance not participating in; excluding; withoutex bonus; ex dividend; ex rights
  2. commerce without charge to the buyer until removed fromex quay; ex ship; ex works
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Word Origin

C19: from Latin: out of, from


  1. informal (a person's) former wife, husband, etc
  2. Canadian short for examination
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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 exes



1827, originally short for ex-Catholic; ultimately from Latin ex (see ex-). Since 1929 as abbreviation for ex-wife, ex-husband, etc. Also used in some commercial senses for "from, out of."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper