ex·​cep·​tion | \ ik-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce exception (audio) \

Definition of exception

1 : the act of excepting : exclusion
2 : one that is excepted especially : a case to which a rule does not apply
3 : question, objection witnesses whose authority is beyond exception— T. B. Macaulay
4 : an oral or written legal objection

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of exception in a Sentence

There will be no exceptions to this rule. I take strong exception to your assessment of his singing ability.

Recent Examples on the Web

Since decamping to the horse capital of the country, Wellington, Florida, in 2017, late nights in Manhattan are largely a thing of the past for show jumper Ariana Rockefeller—save for a few exceptions. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Ariana Rockefeller and Bucherer Host a Polo Bar Dinner With More Than 140 Carats of Diamonds," 2 May 2019 The 54th Academy of Country Music Awards took place in Las Vegas on Sunday, and everyone who's anyone in country music was there (with a few notable exceptions). Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani Didn't Let the Miranda Lambert Drama Ruin Their ACMs," 8 Apr. 2019 With a few exceptions, the rest of the helicopters go to the Marine Corps. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon’s 2020 Budget Asks for Nearly 380 Aircraft, But One Buy Is Raising Eyebrows," 13 Mar. 2019 With few exceptions, old homes are and always have been living documents that reflect gradual changes in the lives of their inhabitants and the world around them. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "To renovate or not to renovate?," 5 Sep. 2018 However, under the new instruction, they too will be required to complete four additional years, with a few exceptions for involuntary separations. Andrew Dyer, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Pentagon announces changes to Post-9/11 GI Bill," 12 July 2018 With few exceptions, the extent of cultural distance has been broadly constant over time. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "White Americans love Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—and flashlights.," 10 July 2018 My Fair Lady was Cinderella for the meritocracy—particularly the Jewish meritocracy that was a large part of the Broadway audience and whose members, with only a few exceptions, invented the Broadway musical. Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, "How Do Carousel and My Fair Lady Fare in 2018?," 8 July 2018 Despite their governments’ debate, Canadian and American fishermen typically coexist in this area relatively peacefully — with a few notable exceptions. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Canadian Fisherman Say U.S. Border Patrol Is ‘Harassing’ Their Boats in Disputed Waters Off Maine," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exception.' 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 exception

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exception

Statistics for exception

Last Updated

19 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exception

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for exception



English Language Learners Definition of exception

: someone or something that is different from others : someone or something that is not included
: a case where a rule does not apply


ex·​cep·​tion | \ ik-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce exception (audio) \

Kids Definition of exception

1 : someone or something that is not included I returned all the books with one exception.
2 : a case to which a rule does not apply We'll make an exception this time.
3 : an objection or a reason for objecting usually used with take He took exception to the change.



Legal Definition of exception

1 : something that is excepted or excluded especially : a situation to which a rule does not apply the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make U.S. Constitution art. III
2 : an act of excepting especially : exclusion of a section of real property from a conveyance — compare reservation
3 : a usually written objection especially to a judge's ruling filed an exception raising a question regarding jury instructions used especially in equity proceedings — see also bill of exceptions at bill sense 3a

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on exception

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


something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!