excess

1 of 3

noun

ex·​cess ik-ˈses How to pronounce excess (audio) ˈek-ˌses How to pronounce excess (audio)
1
a
: the state or an instance of surpassing usual, proper, or specified limits : superfluity
b
: the amount or degree by which one thing or quantity exceeds another
an excess of 10 bushels
2
: undue or immoderate indulgence : intemperance
also : an act or instance of intemperance
prevent excesses and abuses by newly created local powers Albert Shanker

excess

2 of 3

adjective

: more than the usual, proper, or specified amount

excess

3 of 3

verb

excessed; excessing; excesses

transitive verb

: to eliminate the position of
excessed several teachers because of budget cutbacks
Phrases
in excess of
: to an amount or degree beyond : over

Example Sentences

Noun They were equipped with an excess of provisions. The tests found an excess of sodium in his blood. He lived a life of excess. The movie embraces all the worst excesses of popular American culture. the violent excesses of the military regime He apologized for his past excesses. Adjective Basketball provided an outlet for their excess energy. She is trying to eliminate excess fat and calories from her diet. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Still, no amount of practice could prevent one unexpected difficulty during filming, involving an excess of bodily fluid. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 22 Jan. 2023 Michigan now appears to have an excess of linebacker talent. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press, 16 Jan. 2023 Some gauges in the county measured an excess of 10 inches of rain. Jennifer Borresen, USA Today, 10 Jan. 2023 Experts note that storms usually bring in an excess of seashells. Samantha Neely, USA TODAY, 29 Oct. 2022 In May 2022, the couple used an excess of water totaling a whopping 489,000 gallons, the most of any resident in the district. Kat Bouza, Rolling Stone, 23 Aug. 2022 For those willing to run afoul of the law, selling liquor to the real-life denizens who inspired The Great Gatsby and other tales of Roaring Twenties excess promised to be highly profitable. Sean Kingsley, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Jan. 2023 Crypto middlemen such as Nexo recruited huge numbers of customers over the past several years by offering interest rates in excess of 10% to people who would loan out their crypto. Dave Michaels, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2023 The past couple of weeks, though, are a reminder that Democrats cannot simply count on Republican excess in the name of Trump to carry them through. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 19 Jan. 2023
Adjective
When the water runs clear, lay it over a towel and roll it up tightly to remove excess water. Rebecca Brown, Travel + Leisure, 24 Jan. 2023 Gently squeeze out any excess water, taking care not to twist or wring the fabric in any way. Abigail Bailey, Good Housekeeping, 18 Jan. 2023 If there’s a hard rain, Ken will connect a second rain barrel between the front windows to the first barrel to take in excess water. Caron Golden, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Jan. 2023 Shake off excess water and transfer to medium saucepan with 3 cups water. Kris Kurek, Good Housekeeping, 13 Jan. 2023 The Moulton and Colusa weirs send excess water from the Sacramento River into Butte Basin, which flows downstream into the Sutter Bypass, a smaller area upstream of the Yolo Bypass. Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2023 Be sure to empty any excess water to encourage proper drainage. Kaitlyn Mcinnis, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Jan. 2023 Wasteful irrigation practices that maintained the sea have been reduced, and excess water is now being transferred to thirsty coastal cities instead. Brent Haddad, The Conversation, 10 Jan. 2023 Unlike most major California rivers, the Cosumnes River is not dammed, meaning there is no basin to collect excess water during major rain events. Arkansas Online, 3 Jan. 2023
Verb
That suggests existing protections won’t have much force until the state extends its new worker-misclassification law (which cracks down on employers who rely to excess on gig workers) to temporary employees. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 22 Sep. 2021 You’ve been quoted as saying that that is really what the film is about — not so much drinking to excess as embracing the uncontrollable. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 15 Apr. 2021 Meacham is a nonideological historian and McGraw is a country star, two professions that were built for caution, something McGraw occasionally takes to excess. Allison Stewart, chicagotribune.com, 11 July 2019 Meacham is a nonideological historian and McGraw is a country star, two professions that were built for caution, something McGraw occasionally takes to excess. Allison Stewart, chicagotribune.com, 11 July 2019 Meacham is a nonideological historian and McGraw is a country star, two professions that were built for caution, something McGraw occasionally takes to excess. Allison Stewart, chicagotribune.com, 11 July 2019 Meacham is a nonideological historian and McGraw is a country star, two professions that were built for caution, something McGraw occasionally takes to excess. Allison Stewart, chicagotribune.com, 11 July 2019 Meacham is a nonideological historian and McGraw is a country star, two professions that were built for caution, something McGraw occasionally takes to excess. Allison Stewart, chicagotribune.com, 11 July 2019 Meacham is a nonideological historian and McGraw is a country star, two professions that were built for caution, something McGraw occasionally takes to excess. Allison Stewart, chicagotribune.com, 11 July 2019 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French exces, from Late Latin excessus, from Latin, departure, projection, from excedere to exceed

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1971, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near excess

Cite this Entry

“Excess.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excess. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

excess

1 of 2 noun
ex·​cess ik-ˈses How to pronounce excess (audio) ˈek-ˌses How to pronounce excess (audio)
1
: a state of being more than enough
2
a
: an amount beyond what is usual, needed, or asked
b
: the amount by which one thing or quantity exceeds another

excess

2 of 2 adjective
: more than what is usual, acceptable, or needed
excess baggage
an outlet for their excess energy

Legal Definition

excess

adjective
ex·​cess
: more than a usual or specified amount
specifically : additional to an amount specified under another insurance policy
excess coverage
excess insurance

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