excel

verb ex·cel \ ik-ˈsel \
Updated on: 11 Nov 2017

Definition of excel

excelled; excelling
transitive verb
: to be superior to : surpass in accomplishment or achievement
intransitive verb
: to be distinguishable by superiority : surpass others
  • excel in sports
  • excelled at lipreading

Examples of excel in a Sentence

  1. She excels everyone else in sports.

  2. the special effects in this new sci-fi extravaganza excel any that we've seen previously

Recent Examples of excel from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of excel

Middle English excellen, from Latin excellere, from ex- + -cellere to rise, project; akin to Latin collis hill — more at hill

Synonym Discussion of excel

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

EXCEL Defined for English Language Learners

excel

verb

Definition of excel for English Language Learners

  • : to be better than others

  • : to be or do better than (others)


EXCEL Defined for Kids

excel

verb ex·cel \ ik-ˈsel \

Definition of excel for Students

excelled; excelling
: to do better than others : surpass
  • She excelled at running.


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