ex·​cept | \ ik-ˈsept How to pronounce except (audio) \
variants: or less commonly excepting \ ik-​ˈsep-​tiŋ How to pronounce excepting (audio) \

Definition of except

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: with the exclusion or exception of daily except Sundays


excepted; excepting; excepts

Definition of except (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to take or leave out from a number or a whole : exclude
variants: or less commonly excepting

Definition of except (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : on any other condition than that : unless except you repent
2 : with this exception, namely was inaccessible except by boat
3 : only often followed by thatI would go except that it's too far

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Other Words from except


exceptive \ ik-​ˈsep-​təv How to pronounce exceptive (audio) \ adjective

Examples of except in a Sentence

Preposition The stores will be open daily except Sundays. the store is open daily except Sundays Verb Children were excepted from the study. I must except to your remark that there are no great novelists currently living. Conjunction I'd go, except it's too far.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Think of it as the three-in-one shampoo, conditioner, body wash of interior design, except much more elevated, effective, and fun. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "Watch This Dining Room Table Convert Into a Ping-Pong Table," 1 Nov. 2019 This is a little like Mann v. National Review, which has droned on for seven years with little or no action, except the litigation emphatically has a point. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Don’t Let Michael Mann Succeed," 11 Oct. 2019 Nobody is quite sure why it’s called that, except that the demographics aren’t exactly the same. Scott Luxor, sun-sentinel.com, "Harlem McBride: Longtime residents reflect on then and now," 10 Oct. 2019 In the case of the communists, workers under the party will go on strike for one year (except those at fire stations and military facilities). Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored, "Tropico 6 pushes the boundaries of city building," 6 Oct. 2019 Which is great, except what fans really care about is the heartbreaking mentions of her family, Tony DiNozzo and their daughter, Tali. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS' Sparks a Total Freak Out Over Ziva's Attempts to Reunite With Tony and Tali," 25 Sep. 2019 This week, for example, most of the leaves in the United States will still be green, except in northern states like Maine and Wyoming, as well as Colorado. Condé Nast Traveler, "Interactive Foliage Map: When Leaves Will Peak This Fall," 25 Sep. 2019 Everything tasted awful—except, strangely, cantaloupe. As Told To Stephanie Booth, Health.com, "4 Breast Cancer Survivors Share How the Disease Changed Their Lives," 25 Sep. 2019 But their political parties have always been marginalized and ostracized, except, briefly, in the early 1990s when Yitzhak Rabin was prime minister. Dov Waxman, The Conversation, "The 4 big questions that the next Israeli government will decide," 18 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This excepts the sort where staffers in toques prepare crab omelets to order and the champagne flows freely. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Life’s a buffet. Wear stretch pants. | Review," 2 Oct. 2019 By-the-glass wines, sparklers excepted, are kegged, and there are a dozen of those (each at $12 per glass). Phil Vettel, chicagotribune.com, "Review: Label-defying, continent-hopping Flora Fauna still feeling its way," 5 Sep. 2019 On the other hand, weather in the tropics is much more stable — excepting the occasional unpredictable cyclone — so there’s less need for this kind of rule of thumb. 1. Randall Munroe, New York Times, "What Makes a Red Sky at Night (and at Morning)," 13 Aug. 2019 The teams have played every season starting in 1964, excepting in 2017 when the game was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Strake Jesuit Crusaders keep the upper hand in rivarly with the St. Thomas Eagles with week 1 win," 3 Sep. 2019 Image isn’t everything Van Wagenen, excepting his chair-throwing fit in a coaches’ meeting last week, seems an exemplar of California cool. New York Times, "What Brodie Van Wagenen Can Learn From the Architect of the ’69 Mets," 22 July 2019 No earthquake occurred during my residence in Chile, excepting a temblor, or gentle shake. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "For a Term for ‘Earthquake,’ the Ground Has Shifted," 11 July 2019 Along with Scott taking over at left tackle, third-year guard Forrest Lamp is excepted to play off the bench against the Colts. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers confident Trent Scott can tackle job of protecting Philip Rivers’ blind side," 6 Sep. 2019 Since then, thanks to more than a hundred and fifty lightning ignitions, almost every acre, excepting bare rock and the creek itself, has burned at least once—some in small, pocket blazes, some in larger, more intense conflagrations. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "A Trailblazing Plan to Fight California Wildfires," 19 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of except


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for except


Middle English, from Anglo-French excepter, from Latin exceptare, frequentative of excipere to take out, except, from ex- + capere to take — more at heave entry 1

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Statistics for except

Last Updated

14 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for except

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

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More Definitions for except

How to pronounce except (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of except

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not including (someone or something) : other than (something or someone)



English Language Learners Definition of except (Entry 2 of 3)

formal : to leave out (someone or something) : to not include (someone or something)

English Language Learners Definition of except (Entry 3 of 3)

used to introduce a statement that indicates the only person or thing that is not included in or referred to by a previous statement
used to introduce a statement that explains the reason why something is not possible, will not happen, etc.
ex·​cept | \ ik-ˈsept How to pronounce except (audio) \

Kids Definition of except

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not including We're open every day except Sundays.
2 : other than : but She told everyone except me.

Kids Definition of except (Entry 2 of 3)

: if it were not for the fact that : only I'd go, except it's too far.


excepted; excepting

Kids Definition of except (Entry 3 of 3)

: to leave out from a number or a whole : exclude Children are excepted from the requirements.
ex·​cept | \ ik-ˈsept\

Legal Definition of except

: to take or leave out (as from insurance coverage or a deed) : exclude specifically excepted the air carriers and unions from the provisions— M. A. Kelly

intransitive verb

: object especially : to file a bill of exceptions or make a formal exception excepted to the judge's order

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More from Merriam-Webster on except

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for except

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with except

Spanish Central: Translation of except

Nglish: Translation of except for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of except for Arabic Speakers

Comments on except

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


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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