verb ex·ceed \ ik-ˈsēd \
Updated on: 24 Apr 2018

Definition of exceed

1 : to extend outside of
  • the river will exceed its banks
2 : to be greater than or superior to
3 : to go beyond a limit set by
  • exceeded his authority

Examples of exceed in a Sentence

  1. The cost must not exceed 10 dollars.

  2. The cost exceeded our estimate.

  3. The demand for new housing has already exceeded the supply.

  4. He's trying to match or exceed last year's sales.

Recent Examples of exceed from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exceed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of exceed

Middle English exceden, from Middle French exceder, from Latin excedere, from ex- + cedere to go

Synonym Discussion of exceed

exceed, surpass, transcend, excel, outdo, outstrip mean to go or be beyond a stated or implied limit, measure, or degree. exceed implies going beyond a limit set by authority or established by custom or by prior achievement.
    • exceed the speed limit
surpass suggests superiority in quality, merit, or skill.
    • the book surpassed our expectations
transcend implies a rising or extending notably above or beyond ordinary limits.
    • transcended the values of their culture
excel implies preeminence in achievement or quality and may suggest superiority to all others.
    • excels in mathematics
outdo applies to a bettering or exceeding what has been done before.
    • outdid herself this time
outstrip suggests surpassing in a race or competition.
    • outstripped other firms in sales

EXCEED Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of exceed for English Language Learners

  • : to be greater or more than (something) : to be better than (something)

  • : to go beyond the limit of (something)

EXCEED Defined for Kids


verb ex·ceed \ ik-ˈsēd \

Definition of exceed for Students

exceeded; exceeding
1 : to be greater than
  • The cost must not exceed 100 dollars.
2 : to go or be beyond the limit of
  • Don't exceed the speed limit.

Word Root of exceed

The Latin word cedere, meaning “to go,” gives us the root ced. Words from the Latin cedere have something to do with going. To precede is to go before. To exceed is to go beyond a limit. To proceed is to go forward. To recede is to go back or away.

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