ex·​ceed ik-ˈsēd How to pronounce exceed (audio)
exceeded; exceeding; exceeds

transitive verb

: to be greater than or superior to
: to go beyond a limit set by
exceeded his authority
: to extend outside of
the river will exceed its banks
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of exceed in a Sentence

The cost must not exceed 10 dollars. The cost exceeded our estimate. The demand for new housing has already exceeded the supply. He's trying to match or exceed last year's sales.
Recent Examples on the Web There are exceptions for certain projects to proceed without a project labor agreement: Those that do not receive at least three bids, where all bids exceed an engineer’s estimate by 10 percent or more, and if city officials find that the PLA would impact a project’s efficiency to get built. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Nov. 2023 According to Adobe’s stats, spending exceeded Black Friday during the weekend as consumers spent $10.3 billion to take advantage of discounts that have been higher than years past. Haleluya Hadero, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2023 Rose made more, and with demand exceeding what busy fingers could create, the two began factory production in 1903. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Nov. 2023 Candidates for state office are required to file campaign finance reports if their total contributions raised or expenditures exceeded $500. Michael R. Wickline, arkansasonline.com, 25 Nov. 2023 The most common Chinese understanding about U.S. strategy toward China is that unless and until China’s national power exceeds that of the United States, there will be no way to modify Washington’s arrogant, aggressive approach. Wang Jisi, Foreign Affairs, 23 Nov. 2023 Several sources at SpaceX reported that the internal mood at the company following the test flight was ecstatic and that the flight exceeded expectations. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 23 Nov. 2023 City guidelines generally call for the giant balloons to be grounded if there are sustained winds above 23 miles per hour, or if gusts exceed 34 m.p.h. Winnie Hu Emma Rose Milligan, New York Times, 22 Nov. 2023 Yet reporting found that all the seats that failed in these types of rear-end collisions met or exceeded the half-century-old federal strength standard. Kris Van Cleave, CBS News, 17 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'exceed.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of exceed was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near exceed

Cite this Entry

“Exceed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exceed. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​ceed ik-ˈsēd How to pronounce exceed (audio)
: to be greater than
the cost must not exceed ten dollars
: to go or be beyond the limit

More from Merriam-Webster on exceed

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