ex·​cel·​lence | \ ˈek-s(ə-)lən(t)s How to pronounce excellence (audio) \

Definition of excellence

1 : the quality of being excellent
2 : an excellent or valuable quality : virtue

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of excellence in a Sentence

The school is known for the excellence of its teachers. an award for academic excellence setting a high standard of excellence
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Experience over 150 screenings and events celebrating excellence in independent cinema and showcasing the diversity of global Jewish life. SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 39," 26 June 2019 This year, actress Regina Hall is handling hosting duties for the annual event, which brings together some of our favorite celebs to honour black excellence across pop culture and entertainment. Mekita Rivas, refinery29.com, "All The BET Awards Red Carpet Looks That Made Us Do A Double Take," 23 June 2019 Governments that do bureaucracy well — that achieve excellence in administration — are effective. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Inching Back toward the Rule of Law," 23 June 2019 The awards, presented by the Society of Professional Journalists, recognize journalistic excellence in 11 states. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al.com, "5 Alabama Media Group journalists recognized by Green Eyeshade Awards," 16 June 2019 The festival that began Friday and continues through Wednesday honors black civic, artistic and literary excellence, while providing networking opportunities for professionals, artists and activists. Marcus Harrison Green, The Seattle Times, "Festival showcasing excellence declares Seattle’s black community is indeed ‘Out Here’," 15 June 2019 New Hope Housing Harrisburg won the 2019 Cornerstone Award, the top award given to properties that demonstrate excellence in the areas of service, operations, design and impact on the community. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "Photo tour: Houston's award winning apartments," 13 June 2019 Her awards include the 2018 Clarion Award, symbolizing excellence in clear, concise communications. Julie Jason, The Mercury News, "Julie Jason: Readers respond to proposed RMD change," 3 June 2019 There’s a lesson in this, Gates implies, for contemporary culture: whatever the talent of a Kehinde Wiley or an Amy Sherald, stylizing black excellence is no defense against state violence and voter suppression. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 10 May 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of excellence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about excellence

Statistics for excellence

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for excellence

The first known use of excellence was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for excellence



English Language Learners Definition of excellence

: extremely high quality


ex·​cel·​lence | \ ˈek-sə-ləns How to pronounce excellence (audio) \

Kids Definition of excellence

: high quality

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on excellence

What made you want to look up excellence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!