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See more synonyms for excel on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), ex·celled, ex·cel·ling.
  1. to surpass others or be superior in some respect or area; do extremely well: to excel in math.
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verb (used with object), ex·celled, ex·cel·ling.
  1. to surpass; be superior to; outdo: He excels all other poets of his day.
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Origin of excel

1400–50; late Middle English excellen < Latin excellere, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + -cellere to rise high, tower (akin to celsus high)
Related formsun·ex·celled, adjectiveun·ex·cel·ling, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
2. outstrip, eclipse, transcend, exceed, top, beat. Excel, outdo, surpass imply being better than others or being superior in achievement. To excel is to be superior in some quality, attainment, or performance: to excel opponents at playing chess. To outdo is to make more successful effort than others: to outdo competitors in the high jump. To surpass is to go beyond others, especially in a contest as to quality or ability: to surpass one's classmates in knowledge of corporation law.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for unexcelled

Historical Examples

  • Watterson was also the cook, and in both capacities was unexcelled.

    Roosevelt in the Bad Lands

    H. Hagedorn.

  • In attending to his own business and never meddling with others, he is unexcelled.

    Little Brothers of the Air

    Olive Thorne Miller

  • But I think my death scene is unexcelled By any in cold print.

  • It penetrates fifty miles of unexcelled beauty and splendor.

    Your National Parks

    Enos A. Mills

  • Considered as a whole, it is unexcelled mountain architecture.

    Your National Parks

    Enos A. Mills

British Dictionary definitions for unexcelled


verb -cels, -celling or -celled
  1. to be superior to (another or others); surpass
  2. (intr; foll by in or at) to be outstandingly good or proficienthe excels at tennis
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Word Origin

C15: from Latin excellere to rise up
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 unexcelled



c.1400, from Latin excellere "to rise, surpass, be eminent," from ex- "out from" (see ex-) + -cellere "rise high, tower," related to celsus "high, lofty, great," from PIE root *kel- "to rise, be elevated" (see hill). Related: Excelled; excelling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper